Owners of a Belleville apartment complex pressured to evict residents

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by Ruella Rouf / KMOV.com

KMOV.com

Posted on August 5, 2014 at 5:02 PM

Updated Tuesday, Aug 5 at 5:38 PM

(KMOV.com) –  The owners of a Belleville apartment complex received a notice saying the building needs to be cleaned up or they will face charges.

The building was the site of a shooting near 7700 block of West Main Street in Belleville. St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly told the owners they have to manage the property in a way that does not foster criminal activity.

Neighbors confirm that there are gunfire, fights, and drug deals in which the police are called often. Police confirm that they have responded to more than 60 calls at the apartment complex just this year. Most of the calls are from residents asking for police help, but 15 percent of those calls are for complaints about residents.

In July, a man was shot near the apartment building and ran into a home nearby for help.

“My house is right across the street from there. I could have been sitting on the porch or in my living room. A shot could have come right through the wall,” said one neighbor.

Housing officials completed rental incident forms under Belleville’s Crime Free Housing Program. The program requires landlords to evict tenants facing charges for crimes that were committed at rental properties. The owners at the complex have started the eviction proceedings against half of the residents, and police have increased patrols.

Police said the building owners have cooperated, but the State’s Attorney wrote the owners threatening charges if conditions do not improve.

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