Work continues on damaged housing complex

It’s been two months since the Memorial Day floods and a housing complex in San Marcos still remains a ghost town. But now federal authorities have given city officials the green light to allow some of those displaced to come back home to the C.M. Allen housing project.

The duplexes at C.M. Allen Homes are empty and locked up.

Fernando and Meralda Ortiz, who live across the street, say the once vibrant neighborhood is now like a ghost town. They say they sit outside and don’t see anyone and it makes them sad, especially for those who had to move.

About three feet of water swept through the complex during the Memorial Day flood.

The damage the water caused inside homes forced 96 low income families to relocate. Now a homecoming is getting organized.

San Marcos Housing Authority Director Albert Sierra admits it's been a slow process.

"It was a challenge. I'm not going to say it's frustrating, it's a challenge it's part of a job, it has to be done, you had to go through the process of doing those things, the first thing of course was remediating the damage, and that took almost a month and a half," Sierra says.

Only two units are currently ready for move in. Work on another three should wrap up by mid-August.

About 14 units will have to go through a mold assessment before they can re-open. FOX 7 is told that the entire complex may not be ready for another six months.

Original residents will be given the option to move in first.

Sierra says, "We have families scattered in different places, renting on their own, living with families and friends, some living with us and some choosing not to come back."

Contractors are still being hired to install sheetrock, cabinets and appliances in the remaining units.

The Housing Authority is using a special fund to pay for all of that.

75% of the estimated million repair bill will be reimbursed with federal funding.

The Housing Authority says the rehab work would have taken longer if not for the teams from AmeriCorps.

They came in and did a bulk of the work tearing out the flood debris.