Residents evacuated from Oakley affordable housing complex

Residents evacuated from Oakley affordable housing complex

OAKLEY — Residents were evacuated from a large affordable housing complex after major water leak on Sunday afternoon, fire officials confirmed.

The Contra Costa County Fire Department received a call around noon that  a resident in Building 67 at The Oaks apartments was stuck in an elevator. Upon arrival, rescuers discovered water leaking from the second floor to the first floor, seeping into an electrical panel, said Steve Aubert, CCCFD public information officer.

“We asked PG&E to shut off the power and residents to evacuate,” Aubert said.

More than 100 residents were evacuated to a nearby building’s community room and are now awaiting word on where they will be taken next, but they were told it would be a hotel, according to Jackie Rider, a resident on the scene. She said they had not yet heard from WinnResidential, the property manager.

“We’ve had constant water issues,” Rider said, indicating this was “the worst.” “My blood pressure is about off the chart.”

Aubert is unsure how long residents would have to be evacuated as that would be up to Oakley’s building code staff, but the building was red-tagged.

Problems at The Oaks were first reported last summer when residents complained to City Hall about cockroach infestations, prompting an investigation by this newspaper. Soon after, state inspectors visited the property and confirmed the presence of roaches along with other compliance issues, according to the California State Treasurer’s Office.

Developed by the nonprofit Corporation for Better Housing, the apartment complex in central Oakley is part of the federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program, which provides tax credits for the construction or rehabilitation of low-income housing. The complex, which includes both senior and family units, is owned by seven different owners or investor groups, comprising both nonprofit and for-profit entities.

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