City of Eureka Tells Squires That Another of Their Properties Serving Low Income Tenants Must Be Vacated

Press release from the Eureka City Manager:

[Yesterday], City staff posted property owned by Floyd Squires located at 833 H Street in Eureka with a notice that the property is to be vacated and boarded against entry on January 22, 2018 pursuant to a warrant issued by the Superior Court. This action comes after repeated notifications to the owners and Jeff Smith, the court appointed receiver, of their obligation to address the extremely hazardous electrical and other violations at the property. Despite multiple notices and extensions, work on the property has been sporadic at best, and ceased altogether, with partial work performed on only three of the fourteen units.

The City does not undertake this action lightly, or without considering the impact to the tenants. The City has notified the Squireses and Mr. Smith that tenants must be provided relocation assistance benefits and is prepared to provide benefits should the property owner and/or receiver fail to do so. Additionally, City staff will be working with service providers to determine what housing options may be available to the displaced tenants.

The closure of this apartment complex is only necessary due to the failure on the part of the owners and receiver to correct the serious violations that place the residents and first responders at risk. Given the imminent threat posed by the landlord’s continuous and flagrant disregard for both state law and the safety of his tenants, the City has no choice but to take this action.

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30 comments

  • Oh great, another 40 people tossed out on the streets by the city.

    • The city is offering assistance with relocation by covering moving expenses and working with individuals who may have trouble finding new housing. Did you read the press release?

      • Wouldn’t it be cheaper to make zero percent loan arrangements with the landlord to fix the hazardous problems, than it would be to pay the costs to rehouse? Rehousing consists of enforcement, cleanup crews, 1st & last plus security deposits, utilities deposits, and whatever I’ve left out.
        This landlord managed to fix multiple infractions on multiple dwellings within an extremely short deadline. Why didn’t the homeless defenders rise up and come to their aide. Were they too busy dreaming of their own ideals consisting of tiny houses with bright pink roofs?

        • That makes a lot of sense but the tenants would have to relocate anyway during renovation.
          There has been enough recorded evidence over the years to allow the city to eminent domain the property under blight laws. Thats the best solution IMO and the property owners shouldn’t be allowed to own didly.

    • You seem to misunderstand that safety ordinances are working for the tenants here, to protect them from sub standard landlords, like the one depicted in this article.

      I believe the City is making a good call, as their inspectors wouldn’t tag it, if it were safe to inhabit.

      Electrical issues are nothing to be minimized.

      I don’t know the extent of the electrical issues there, but if that older structure were to lose the main neutral leg on a cold night, when everyone is using their plug-in resistance heaters, the structure could potentially burn up before some could get out of it.

      It sucks to be displaced because your landlord is pathologically thrifty, and morally bankrupt, but it’s better to not perish in an electrical fire.

    • Crestfallen is right, any sort of standard for housing ultimately means more homeless people. The Squires should be allowed to rent out wet cardboards boxes, if people want to rent them. Free market bro. (sarcasm)

  • About time…

  • The landlord is who you should be upset with. Have you ever stood outside of a building or home that a fire has started by faulty wiring. I have. Two children were lost because a landlord wouldn’t fix the wiring. So thank god for what the city is doing. If your concerned than try to help the people by finding somewhere that they can go.

  • Liberal hypocrisy

    I’m sure Jeff Smith wishes he never would have been associated with this property and property owner

  • It’s not our city that puts people out. It’s Shit Lords like the Squiars. If they make 90k per month in rent then they have some to put back into the building. But He filed bankruptcy to stop all proceedings and not pay. He needs Jail time.

  • TIME TO THROW A BIG PARTY THERE, INVITE EVERYBODY YOU CAN FIND. LET SOCIAL JUSTICE TAKE IT TO THE LIMIT.

  • I thought the whole point of the “receivership” was to get these things fixed.
    Is it going to get fixed now?

  • Wasn’t there just a group of hsu student trying to get a shelter emergency declared so they could have this exact kind of building opened up to combat the homeless housing crisis? Not even 2weeks ago.

  • If there was no demand for substandard housing, Floyd would have to fix up his houses. That they’re always fully rented indicates there’s plenty of demand for the type of housing he provides. Maybe the various local cities and counties should stop creating housing shortages through excessive permit requirements and fees, pointless restrictions, not allowing people to live in RVs or mobile homes except in specific zones, denying septic permits, etc etc etc, and then there won’t be so many people who need Squires housing.

    The relocation assistance is bullshit. People live in slums because they can’t afford something better. You move them to something better, and it’s great… until the free money runs out, and then they can’t afford the rent, and promptly end up out on the street anyway. If anything, it’s probably harmful.

    Every person Floyd rents to is a person kept off the streets. He does far more to fix the homeless problem than all the local enablers ever will. Pisses me off every time I see the city or county making his life harder…

    • So long as the tenants are getting what they signed up for and not problems arising and being ignored in the middle of their lease then you are right about the demand. The cities love laws and permits because that guarantees jobs and income for them. More power and more control. They can’t spin like they need to protect people who can’t help themselves because last time I checked alcohol and tobacco are broadly sold throughout these same cities. And let many people abusing themselves with these substances live under bridges and other terrible conditions. It’s all about revenue and if you follow the dollar you will almost always find your way to the truth.

      • I suspect the vast majority of their tenants know exactly what they’re signing up for… It’s not exactly like no one has ever heard of them. 🙂

        Every time they kick people out of one of his houses, it’s always full. Usually with more people than you’d expect would fit. There’s clearly a quite high demand for the type of housing he provides. If you eliminate the demand, then he’ll be forced to fix them up to be able to keep renting them. The city’s approach is benefiting no one at all, especially not the displaced renters. And if he does fix them up while there’s still demand, then the renters get displaced too, as let’s just say he doesn’t strike me as the type to not immediately raise rents to the market value of the newly-improved units…

    • Wow Bushytails. Your last paragraph leads me to believe that you have never had to live next to one of Squires buildings or encounter the people who inhabit them. I have done both. I have also gone up against him in small claims court, proved his landlord and management style is negligent and causes a nuisance and hazard to both tenants and the public. I won the case. Believe me, he is not doing anyone any favors by renting out these dangerous premises. While some of his tenants may very well be wonderful folks who cannot afford much (and don’t be fooled, some tenants pay up to 600.00 a month for a room in his “boarding houses”) a great deal of the tenants are drug users who conduct their drug dealing business and use from the apartments they rent. Knowing this, I have to disagree with your “he does far more to fix the homeless” comment, because he’s not helping the homeless, he’s enabling the drug dealers and users. Helping the homeless would mean he is providing safe healthy apartments to rent. He is not. The fact that seeing the City of Eureka putting a stop to his renting out hazardous housing to people pisses you off tells me you don’t have a firm grip on the full scope of the problem here. At this point Mr. Squires is the only one responsible for his life being “hard”.

      • I have lived next to his properties. They were full of tweakers. If someone doesn’t house the tweakers, then they’ll be homeless tweakers. The tweakers are going to live somewhere – they’re not going to go away just because they get kicked out of their houses. What do you propose – that no one at all rents to tweakers? What will happen then? You’ll just have homeless tweakers. Or are you proposing the tweakers will move into more-expensive housing when less-expensive housing becomes unavailable? That’s not going to happen. Even if they move into more-expensive housing, they’ll quickly trash it and the neighborhood, until it becomes less-expensive housing. Or do you want someone to house them, but just not next to you?

        You need to fix the demand for his housing. If you get rid of the drug dealers and tweakers, then there won’t be drug dealers and tweakers looking for slums. If you make sure all hardworking or disabled people can afford decent housing, there won’t be demand for low-income housing. As soon as Squires finds out he can’t rent his properties unless he fixes them up, they’ll get fixed up. As long as people keep demanding shitty housing, he will keep providing shitty housing. And if he’s forced to stop, someone else will just take his place – either voluntarily, when they see the demand and opt to supply it, or involuntarily, when the tweakers trash their formerly-nice rentals and the neighborhoods around them. You need to fix the people, and the housing will follow.

        • Bushytail – I wasn’t and am not proposing anything. I was simply pointing out that your comment practically makes a man who has no regard for public safety and human dignity sound like a saint.

  • The building next door was bulldozed down and it was a Squires property too. If I was Squires, it would sell everything and live a comfortable life somewhere else.

  • I think California should take back the ownership of our prisons and use the private prison contractors to build and man huge, warm, comfy homeless shelters that also feed and provide healthcare for the residents. The guards can make sure the general peace is kept, and lawful conduct only, and double as janitors. The rest of the staff can do as they always did. The state can pay for this if they can pay for prisons, AND the people at the shelters can contribute from any public benefits they might be getting.

    Everybody wins. Fewer bogus prisoners in prison. More homeless people safe and sound. Jobs are not lost. It could be virtually identical to a prison, only without the locks… or only locked by the “inmates”. It would lower crime. Homeless people could get their dignity back. No more bed quotas the state has to promise to fill. Streets safer and cleaner. Courts somewhat less clogged. The saved man hours for LE could be used dealing with, say, environmental crimes. Fewer poor people preferring to chance dying in a fire to nearly certainly dying of exposure. Better for everyone.

    Lest my fellow conservatives snort at this idea, there have been cities that ran the numbers and figured out it was actually CHEAPER to put homeless people in their own apartments, with food stamps and medical coverage than pay for managing the havoc resulting from their homelessness. The whole state could run those numbers, save money, and treat people decently.

  • Problem with electrical wiring? Why not city and squires divvy up costs to fix? Does building have historical value? Cheaper to fix than oust a bunch of folks out on the streets!

    • A roof over your head better than no roof! Spend the $$ to fix the problem! Calculate costs both in terms of repairs -replace and re-home dis-place

      • I thought the same thing! Isn’t it far more COST EFFECTIVE to have the county fix the wiring and charge it to Squires? The county costs of homelessness must be HUGE?

  • The Squires do rent awful places. But then they rent to people who can not rent other places due to past rent history, questionable income and behavior. When simple safety is the question, the city can not turn a blind eye. But that is a far cry from enforcing the myriad of regulations from ADA to set backs.

    Look at the people who sued in small claims court because the Squire renters effected the neighborhood quality of life. Such renters still need places to live (yeah before you say, they still live here one way or another.)

    Maybe the city needs to look at itself and its regulation to make sure they are not conducting a vendetta, which they have done previously, and that their regulations allow a space for very cheap rents to disruptive people. Maybe a zoned area for the dangerous, drug addicted and indigent with lower building standards. A place no one wants to live who can manage to do better but at least it’s not a tent made out of tarps.

    • You have some valid points but issues that need a better solution than rezoning and segregation. The Squirters can definitely provide better conditions. If they showed respect for their own property maybe their residents would as well.

  • Why doesn’t code enforcement or the city do anything about Brass Rail Motel in Redway?? It’s just as bad if not worse than Squire properties. Full of tweakers, criminals and squatters. It’s a very scary place that no one is doing anything about.

  • I hope the squires get skewered with a rusty spork. In a Meritocracy they would be shoveling shit.
    It’s not just how they treat people but also how poorly they treat that property. That building architecturally speaking is a beautiful building on a great lot. It fills the space, simple design with a classy professional looking crown and serves it’s purpose as apartments for that geographic location within the city. Form follows function. Simple. With a bit of modernization it will be quite elegant.
    If I owned it there would definitely be a long waiting list to rent an apartment.
    The houses in the immediate area are the same story. There is quite a lot of nice architecture homes in Eureka. It’s just a shame the lack of upkeep.

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