St. Petersburg man facing sudden eviction dies while moving

Pinellas County

Courtesy of Kelvin Washington’s family members

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – Residents in a St. Petersburg community are stressed out over being forced out of their homes with no place to go. Now, residents claim one of their neighbors died while moving.

At the beginning of the month, residents learned they had until the end of October to move out of the Stanton Apartments, located off 3rd Street, to make way for a planned expansion of the Cordova Inn hotel.

“At least give people time enough to find somewhere to stay. We’re not homeless, don’t make us homeless,” said resident Toddrick Washington.

Washington said he is angry about the situation as well as the loss of his friend.

Earlier this week he says his friend and neighbor Kelvin Washington was moving his belongings out when he suddenly collapsed and died.

“It happened while he was moving. 8:30 that morning we were all helping him move,” said Toddrick Washington.

He said his friend Kelvin, who was in his 60’s, had health issues but believes the stress of moving and nowhere to live may have been too much. He is also concerned for the other neighbors who only have days left to move.

“The whole bottom floor here, they have nowhere to go and there’s disabled and sickly,” Toddrick Washington said.

The St. Petersburg Tenants Union held rallies for residents to demand more time and more help.

The organization plans to hold a vigil and rally on Saturday for Kelvin and to demand more assistance for the remaining residents.

“A lot of the people who are facing eviction, they are elderly, they have physical health conditions, they have mental health conditions, and you put an eviction on top of that,” said Karla Correa, the organizer of St. Petersburg Tenants Union.

8 On Your Side reached out to TJM Properties with their concerns. Below is their response:

“We send our sincere condolences to Mr. Washington’s family during this difficult time. Most of the Stanton’s tenants have leaned on the support offered to assist with relocation and moving. We’ve forgone all rents for October and been flexible when tenants have made a request for additional time to relocate. To date, most of the tenants have already relocated and no evictions have been necessary.”

TJM Properties spokesperson

8 On Your Side also received a statement from the company purchasing the properties for the expansion, New Hotel Collection.

“We were incredibly saddened to hear the news of Mr. Washington and share our deepest condolences with his family and friends. We’re continuing to vacate the building for safety reasons, and most tenants have already relocated. In addition, a local community organization financially assisting the remaining tenants in relocating.”

New Hotel Collection spokesperson

The company, New Hotel Collection, previously said that it is not handling the evictions but is in the process of buying the property. Below is one of their prior statements:

“The Stanton buildings are no longer safe, so it’s important for residents to find new places to live. The Stanton’s ownership company is offering a significant amount of help by forgoing October rents, providing cash payments, and connecting residents to community resources.”

A spokesperson confirmed the company plans to pay residents $500 if they clean their units. They will also return their security deposit and allow residents to live rent-free for October.

Residents say it’s nearly impossible to find affordable rent and are asking for more help and more time.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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