Tornado-damaged houses still home for some

Uninhabitable home
A sign designates a home uninhabitable on N. Logan Ave. in north Minneapolis, Minn. Wednesday, May 25, 2011.
MPR Photo/Jeffrey Thompson

City housing officials in Minneapolis say they're concerned about north side residents who are continuing to live in unsafe homes damaged in last month's tornado.

The stories of renters stuck in uninhabitable living conditions keep coming in. Cathy ten Broeke, Project Coordinator of the Office to End Homelessness in Minneapolis and Hennepin County says some of the accounts that she's read on a Facebook page dedicated to the tornado's aftermath are alarming.

"There was family living in a house that had entirely boarded up windows, and the second floor looked like it was going to fall on the first floor," ten Broeke said. "In a sense, people are squatting in their own housing, because it's become a place where they can't safely live but they don't feel like they have anywhere else to go."

Ten Broeke says the city and the county are planning to send social workers to meet residents in their homes and refer them to safer housing options.

The city was planning to hold a housing resource fair Wednesday, but decided that talking with families where they live would be more effective.