County responds after tenants of condemned Spartanburg motel displaced

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SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – The future of a condemned motel in Spartanburg County remains uncertain and so does the living situation of dozens of people who stayed there.

“There was a lack of communication,” Director of Miracle Hill Ministries Calvin Vinson said.

Less than 30 minutes, that’s the notice Vinson said he got to make room for families displaced after the county condemned the Spartanburg Motor Lodge on Wednesday.

A sewer backup flooded the lower level of the motel leading to the eviction of more than 100 people.

Despite being at capacity and receiving very little notice, Vinson said Miracle Hill Ministries made room for 36 people.

“What we had determined to do was if people showed up we would put them in what would normally be our cold weather shelter,” Vinson told 7News.

Miracle Hill was one of 10 places listed on the document posted next to the condemned notice at the Motor Lodge.

“From experience, we’ve learned that these folks don’t have places to go,” Spartanburg County Council Chairman Manning Lynch said. “I think some of the county staff was doing some checking and trying to find some options for these folks.”

Lynch says the list was compiled last week after complaints about code violations launched discussion among county leaders about what to do with the motel.

“We probably looked the other way as long as we could,” he said.

Lynch tells 7News when the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control contacted the county on Monday about the sewage issues they have no choice but to condemn the property.

“You’ve got folks living there that are not there by choice,” Lynch said.

County leaders said the organizations were contacted in advance, but Vinson said they need more notice.

“In the future, we could be better prepared if at least we have a couple of days notice,” Vinson said.

Many tenants told 7News they have nowhere to go. Some chose to spend Wednesday night sleeping outside the condemned building.

7News has learned none of the displaced tenants showed up to Miracle Hill and at least three other places posted on the list.

The property owner has appealed the condemned notice claiming a contractor notified him that the issues were repaired on Wednesday.

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