BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – September 29th, 2021 is a day Ti Davis says she’ll always remember. Raw sewage had filled their apartments after a nearby wastewater treatment plant malfunctioned, destroying much of their belongings. 

Months later, she and her mother say they are being forced to pack their bags.

“We’ve been given a shaft, we don’t know where to go, we don’t know what to do,” said Davis. “I tried to walk outside, but you couldn’t even see the ground. It was so dark, and it’s not the first time it’s flooded, it flooded a few years back before 2016.”

Now the city has bought out nearby property to use as a buffer zone to make sure the flooding of people’s homes never happens again. Davis said she and other tenants were given this information shortly before being told they would have 30 days to move out. Davis has lived in her apartment for the last 14 years. 

“We’re not throwaways, and that’s how it feels we’re being thrown away, “said Davis. “We don’t know where to go, we don’t know what to do, nobody’s helping us. If you don’t want to give us cash that’s fine, give us a housing voucher, give us an emergency housing voucher, there should be something in place set up if you knew you’ve got this plant next door to where people habitat.”

The city has spent well over one million taxpayer dollars in settlements and buying the property the apartment complex sits on and that money is being paid to property owners. Meanwhile, tenants say they need more help.

“Whoever owns that plant, whoever runs that plant, whoever manages that plant, that’s who we need help from,” said Davis.

Davis’ concerns were taken to East Baton Rouge Chief Administrative Officer Darryl Gissel who said this is between the property owner and his tenants. 

“We don’t own property as a city so it really would be up to the landlord to work with the tenants in terms of making their move,” said Gissel.

In fact, according to Gissel, the settlement approved by Davis’s landlord isn’t final until the property is vacant, then the city will do the official closing on the purchase of the property.

The property owner was contacted and at first did not want to comment on the situation, but after a change of mind, he said he plans on doing everything he can do to help his misplaced tenants. He said he’s planning on even giving back security deposits and first month’s rent.