NEW ALBANY, IN (WAVE) – The lights are back on and residents are slowly moving back inside Riverview Towers in New Albany. But the fixes to the building are not permanent.
Crews have been working to make temporary repairs to the building, running cable up to each of the 16 floors to power the building. Those cables are able to power the building, including portable air conditioners for residents.
Housing and Urban Development officials met with the New Albany Housing Authority and city leaders Tuesday to talk about Riverview Towers and other units within the housing authority. Mayor Jeff Gahan said years of deferred maintenance to the tune of $138 million in New Albany's public housing was the cause of recent issues at Riverview Towers, including the loss of air conditioning and then total power loss days later.
Now, residents on the first six floors are back home or are moving back in, but the city said they want people to take the move slowly.
"The infrastructure and public housing is old and it's in great need of repair," Gahan said. "Lots of people acknowledge that and we've know this for a little while. We don't want to bring anybody in harm's way and we're not going to do that. I'd rather them be in hotels and off-site than be on the property and be in danger."
Riverview Towers has 167 units. All residents are expected to be able to move back in by this weekend.
Gahan said HUD officials will be back in a few weeks to continue work with the housing authority and the city to put together a plan for the future of Riverview Towers.