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Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- Displaced residents from the West Avenue apartment complex were guaranteed Thursday their families would have a place to sleep.

News 19 is on your side tonight after residents at the West Avenue Apartments say they have no place to go.

Previous Coverage - Residents: "We Need Help!"

Residents were forced to leave after the owner of the property was cited $5000 earlier this week for not having the buildings up to code. Thursday, residents heard from Housing Authority officials on whether or not they'll have a place to live.

"It's crazy," said resident Mellinda Dell. "This is something that we didn't cause. Something that's not our fault. It seems like we are being downed upon. We are not trash."

Just forty eight hours after learning their apartment building would be condemned by the city, West Avenue residents made their way to the Housing Authority to find a new place to stay.

<"You've got to pack up your kids and they want a certain toy and they can't play with it because it's in a condemned building. You don't know what to do.">

Mellinda Dell says her entire building of sixteen adults and seventeen children, have been placed at the Budget Inn inside six rooms. She was one of those trying to find permanent housing.

News19 wanted to know what the housing authority is doing for displaced residents so we asked Executive Director Gilbert Walker.

"It is an emergency situation," said Walker. "We will guarantee that everyone will be housed one way or another."

Walker says heir goal is to have everyone in a permanent place by mid January. Tonight is about getting residents into temporary housing like hotels.

"No one will be out in the streets," said Walker.

Getting funding through other agencies is how Walker hopes to pay for the temporary lodging.

"Now we may have to pay for it now and then get reimbursed at some point, but we will make sure whatever logistics need to get done. We will get it worked out at a later time."

Even with the reassurances, Residents like Dell say they still have their doubts.

"That we're not going to have anywhere to go. Christmas is just going to be horrible. There isn't going to be a Christmas. This is supposed to be happy times."

There has been some discrepancy around Emergency Housing Vouchers. It is true, the Housing Alliance in Columbia does not have any of these. But that doesn't mean folks will not have a place to stay.

The executive director of the housing authority says residents shouldn't worry and they should go down to the housing authority on Harden street if they have any questions.

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