Update as of December 2, 2022:
The City of Dickinson has issued Emergency Orders for the abatement of Creekside Apartments located at 406 Deats due to ongoing public health life and safety issues. In September, the Building Standards Commission ordered property owners to present engineered plans within 60 days that would bring the property up to code and immediately address all public health life and safety violations on the property that posed an immediate danger to the residents who call Creekside Apartments home. Since that time, the property has continued to fall further into disrepair leaving residents without hot water and some units without electricity, amongst numerous other problems that pose an imminent danger to the health and well-being of the residents.
WHAT TO EXPECT & HOW TO PREPARE:
- The orders will give residents 30 days to relocate, effective when they are issued.
- The City is working with M.I. Lewis to help facilitate relocation efforts. To qualify for relocation assistance, residents will need to:
- Fill out the online application provided by M.I. Lewis at www.milewisctr.org/services-5
- Those without computer access can visit M.I. Lewis or the Dickinson Public Library to use available public computers
- Please provide a copy of their current lease from Creekside Apartments or proof of residency and rental payments
- Provide a proposed rent statement detailing their new rental rate and deposits needed to relocate
- Once residents have the information above, they can submit it to email@example.com or in person at M.I. Lewis at 245 FM 517 E in Dickinson. There is a night drop box available for after-hours submissions
- Staff will ask City Council to approve funding for relocation assistance at their December 13th City Council meeting. If approved, those funds would then be made available through M.I. Lewis to those residents who have met the criteria above.
LEGAL HELP FOR RESIDENTS:
All residents are encouraged to fill out the online application form, linked on our website, for Lonestar Legal Aid. These services are free, and the organization is currently representing numerous tenants and putting together a joint lawsuit against the property owners & management company for illegal actions by the management, failure of the management to address living conditions, illegal lease terms, etc.
HOW YOU CAN HELP:
The timing of this abatement has made this a very hard decision as a City, as we know the financial, mental, and emotional burden it will place on these residents right here during the holidays. We encourage anyone who would like to get involved with assisting these families in any capacity to please register through the M.I. Lewis website at www.milewisctr.org/creekside.
QUESTIONS & CONCERNS:
All of this information is fluid and subject to change; however, we will keep all information updated on our website (www.dickinsontexas.gov/creekside ), our social media (www.facebook.com/dickinsontexas), as well as a posted copy onsite at the property.
On Monday September 26th, 2022, the City's Building Standards Commission, with direction from the City's Building Official, declared "Creekside Apartments", the multi-family housing units located at 406 Deats in Dickinson, substandard buildings that are currently below the minimum standards for continued use and occupancy.
After months of inspections and investigation into the condition of the property, Chief Building Official Herman Meyers stated Monday night during his presentation that, "it is evident that every building and structure on the property is in a state of disrepair and that management has a complete disregard for the health, safety, and general welfare of the public."
These findings were made through property owner-approved and tenant-approved inspections that have been conducted over the last five months, from May 2022 through September 2022.The City of Dickinson’s Chief Building Official, Assistant Building Official, Fire Marshal, Code Enforcement Officers, and SAFE Built Code Officials all uncovered numerous code violations throughout the property.
"The citizens of Dickinson deserve better than the conditions they were living in at Creekside Apartments," said Fire Marshal Shonna Bellow. "Our number one concern is any issues that call into question life safety, and in this case, the conditions were so egregious we had to take this drastic measure."
The Building Standards Commission made two separate declarations within the order issued on September 28th, 2022.
The first declaration gives the property owners sixty days to present a plan to the commission that would bring the occupied units into code-compliant conditions that no longer endangers the health, safety, and welfare of the residents, our first responders, and the community at large.
If the property owners are unable to meet the specific requirements outlined in the agreed order, the commission would then have the ability to require that the property be abated, and/or vacated. Assistance will be provided to residents for relocation efforts through local non-profits.
The second declaration declared the unoccupied units on the property, located along Tanglewood Dr., to be substandard structures that are to be demolished by the property owner within 90 days. If they cannot comply with the agreed-upon order, the City will demolish the unsafe structures and lien the property for any incurred costs to the City.
"The City has every intention of handling this process with the utmost concern for our residents. We want more for Dickinson than the living conditions they were left in," said Mayor Sean Skipworth. "I hope this sends a strong message to landlords in Dickinson that the City is ramping up our code enforcement efforts, and these threats to the health and safety of the very residents who call your property home are unacceptable."
View more information below.