Patten Towers Residents Get to "Go Home"

Reported by: Bill Mitchell

Edited by: David Moore
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Updated: 6/28/2013 7:30 pm
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WDEF) -- The residents of Patten Towers get settled back in tonight.
That's after spending a month in area shelters and motels.
They were displaced by an electrical fire May 28th.
The tenants moved back in this morning, but not before Mayor Andy Berke gave the building owners a stern warning.

The 241 people who call Patten Towers home were anxious to get back to familiar surroundings.

GARY ROGERS, PATTEN TOWERS RESIDENT "I've been here 14 years..but its not the perfect place..but it is home...and I thank God that I am home."

DEBRAH FUQUA, PATTEN TOWERS RESIDENT "Thank you, Lord...I am so glad to see Patten Towers, I never thought I say that but I am so ready to see Patten Towers that I don't know what to do."

The ones who arrived early were told to leave, but then the details were worked out, and they were allowed to stay.

Some of those returning had praise for PK Management who rushed to get repair work done.
But not everyone was happy---Mayor Andy Berke says more needs to be done.

MAYOR ANDY BERKE "This building is not..still not in the shape that these residents need. And so I stressed to them that I wanted to continue to see them make necessary repairs..not just to the electrical part..not to the structural part..but to the individual units that are in this building."

His remarks came after final inspections by the City of Chattanooga's Fire Prevention Bureau and the Land Development Department, who issued a Conditional Certificate of Occupancy.

MAYOR ANDY BERKE, CHATTANOOGA "I'm paying attention, I'm still going to walk by ..I'm still going to talk to residents and believe me, everyone in government, in my administration knows this is a situation that we're not going to walk away from. "

PK Management meanwhile issued a statement thanking the Mayor for his concern, and pointing out that the company finished the work faster than most expected, and that it provided 30 members of the management and social service teams to help the residents during the past 4 weeks.

A spokesman says the Berke Administration is looking at longer term solutions to prevent absentee landlords from taking advantage of Chattanooga tenants.

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