Elderly residents displaced by Yonkers mudslide to be permanently relocated

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Marcus Solis has the story from Yonkers. (WABC)

A group of senior citizens forced out of their homes by a mudslide in Yonkers will be permanently relocated.

A city official said the more than 100 residents who have been living in hotels or with family and friends will not return to their former homes. Instead, they will be moved to other buildings.

For many, a Ramada Inn has been their residence ever since a retaining wall collapsed behind their senior housing complex on March 11, sending mud into the back of the building on Walsh Road.

All 102 units were evacuated, and the state and Yonkers Municipal Housing Authority have spent weeks trying to figure out how to fix the problem.

"They don't want to relocate, they want to go home," said Jennifer Mills, whose mother is a tenant. "They have memories there. Some have been there 10, 15, 20, 25 years. They are seniors from 76 years old, which is my mom, up to 100 years old. Some of them have hospital beds in their home...they have wheelchairs, they have Lifeline, they have a lot of stuff they need to get back home to."

Officials have been paying for the hotel rooms on a week-by-week basis.

Former resident Pedro Guillarte was able to retrieve some belongings from his apartment Friday, but he said he was depressed he cannot stay after the building was declared uninhabitable.

Firefighters shored up inside doors to prevent the mud from entering the lobby, but the entire wall must be rebuilt or repaired in a process that will take months.

I has cost Yonkers about $600,000 to house those who couldn't make other arrangements. Some have been moved into vacant apartments, and there is a new building under construction that will allow 30 residents to move in next month. The rest will get vouchers to move into private senior housing.

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