"NOWHERE TO GO": Renters reeling, Branson apartment building condemned

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BRANSON, Mo. (KY3) - An apartment building is now condemned in Branson, leaving renters scrambling for shelter on short notice.

"I have nowhere to go at this point," said Kristy Gamble.

Gamble has lived at the Main Street Apartment Building in Branson since September.

"It's not the safest neighborhood. It's not the best, but it's a safe place at night for my children to lay their heads, and it was what I could afford with two young kids," she said.

Now, she's left trying to figure out where to go next.

"Dangerous building" signs were posted on apartment doors Saturday, letting renters know the building isn't safe for them to live in, and they have to move out. The Findings of Fact from the city of Branson explains why.

The document lists issues such as damaged walls, roach infestations, black mold and plumbing problems.

Gamble said she had some struggles when she first moved in, with water leaks and mold, but after being switched to a different unit, everything's been fine. She said she had no idea the issues were so severe.

"I wouldn't have been here," Gamble said.

City inspectors issued several code violations last February, and gave the property owners a year to fix them.

"Yeah, the property owner isn't here," Gamble said.

According to property manager Pat Carroll, the owner of the building lives in Minnesota.

"In January, said she had 30 days to fix all the issues or to demolish the building, whichever one. They haven't done anything whatsoever to help," Carroll said.

Carroll, who lived rent-free while trying to take care of the apartment building, said he did his best to fix the building's big problems. Without funding from the owners, he said, he could only do so much.

"It really is a shame that everyone has to move out of here because of that," he said.

What's worse, Carroll said, some tenants were charged rent for this month.

Lack of resources and the short notice worry renters like Gamble. She said she found out on Feb. 7 that she'd have to find a new place to live by Feb. 18.

"So it gave me 11 days to find a place to go with my kids," Gamble said.

Gamble said she and other tenants were left in the dark, and are now wondering where to go.

"It's one of the worst feelings in the world," Gamble said.

The city of Branson wrote in a news release it notified the property owner that tenants would need to leave the property within 30 days if issues were not resolved. Gamble said that was not relayed to those who actually live in the building until signs first went up on Feb. 7.

KY3 News reached out to both the property owner in Minnesota and her brother, who lives locally. We have not heard back.