A large group of condo owners and their families in Woodridge received notice last week that they must vacate their homes by Dec. 17 and potentially not return until the spring because of a plumbing concern raised by the homeowners association.
Residents said between 20 and 30 families at Woodridge Country Club are impacted and some said they have no where to go on such short notice.
"I’m packing my stuff and putting it in storage because I don’t have nobody to help me," said unit owner Suzzette Santiago. "There has been no plan of what to do."
Some of the condos at Woodridge Country Club were impacted by last summer’s tornado and remain uninhabitable. But other condos suffered little to no damage and residents still live inside them.
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"We have to find a new place to live. Our whole lives are being turned upside down," said unit owner Christine Cummings.
The homeowner’s association explained to unit owners in a letter last week that there is only one water shut-off valve for the entire building, which means that once the valve is closed, "there will be no water service for any units in the building."
"The Association obviously regrets to take this action, but it is necessary in order to prevent significant freezing of pipes, the accompanying bursts/water damage and the potential compromise of residents' safety that would follow if the water remains on during the winter," the letter stated.
But some question the timing of the notice.
"I feel like they knew about this months ago, that why they waited until now, two weeks, three weeks before Christmas when it’s cold outside," said unit owner Yvonne Terry.
MC Property Management Corporation, which manages the property, said residents had been provided communication via postings, mailings and email blasts since the June 20 tornado and said professionals including the Insurance Company and Adjuster, Public Adjuster, Contractors and Building Engineers determined as of November 22 that the buildings would have to be winterized and water shut down due to the inability to shutting water down to individual units.
The property management company and association said exterior repairs are required before any interior repairs can be addressed and “we were also notified over the last few weeks by the contractors of a shortage of the exterior materials that it would be difficult to obtain, which in turn delays the work for the roof and the other components of the building’s envelope.”
Meanwhile, the Village of Woodridge said it is aware of what is happening to the condo owners.
Village administrator Al Stonitsckh said the village has reached out to its non-profit partners for assistance to help impacted condo owners find short-term or long-term housing and other needs.
The village encourages impacted residents to call 630-719-2496 and leave a message detailing their needs.