Elderly residents displaced by Yonkers mudslide face uncertain future

YONKERS (WABC) -- A group of senior citizens is facing big questions in the wake of a mudslide that forced them out of their Yonkers homes.

Roughly 65 people have been staying in hotels and temporary housing, but now, their living situations could be changing again. And not knowing what could happen next is taking its toll.

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

All 102 units were evacuated, and the state is now trying to figure out how to fix the problem. The Municipal Housing Authority in Yonkers does not have a lot of good options on the table.

The best-case scenario involves putting up a temporary structure, and during that construction, folks could go home. But it could take four to six months to sort out, and during that time, no one would be allowed in the building.

Residents must now decide whether to move to private housing, essentially giving up their homes, or go to public housing. But there may not be enough units available, and the uncertainty is an unsettling pill to swallow.

"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 rooms on a week-by-week basis and are paid up through Sunday, but a decision will have to be made soon on what to do next.
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