Family displaced for a week after home yellow tagged as unsafe

Tara Ardila with her kids in front of their home, yellow-tagged this past week. Jim Holt/ The Signal

The long weekend turned out to be a very long drawn-out week for an out-of-work single mother of six kids with two dogs who was forced from her problem-plagued leased home in Canyon Country after city inspectors deemed the building unsafe, then yellow-tagged it, allowing only restricted access.

A week of motel hopping took a toll on the struggling mom.

“I try not to cry in front of my kids,” said Tara (Ross) Ardila, noting it was a challenge after she and her kids were displaced Aug. 29.

She wanted the leasing company, Invitation Homes, to make the necessary repairs as quickly as possible.

And after a week of calls placed to the leasing company by The Signal, the repairs were made and the yellow tag was removed Friday.

“If it hadn’t been for (The Signal) this would have dragged on,” Ardila’s mother, Marina Ross, said Friday.  “As it turned out, (repair) crews got out there and everything got done in a day.”

City officials said they could not have let the family back in until they declared the building safe. That declaration came Friday.

“The building permit issued on the property to correct the outstanding violations has been finalized and the yellow tag has been removed,” Dan Rivas, community preservation manager for the city of Santa Clarita, said Friday.

“A yellow tag was issued Aug. 29 by the city’s Building and Safety Division, which limited entry into the home requiring a permit be obtained until all repairs had been completed,” Mayumi Miyasato, spokeswoman for the city of Santa Clarita, said Wednesday. “Occupancy was allowed during the day, but not at night unless the occupants removed all vehicles and combustibles from the garage area.”

A building permit, Miyasato said, was obtained by the property owner Aug. 30.

Claire Parker, spokeswoman for the national leasing company, said in written statement issued Wednesday:

“Invitation Homes is committed to providing quality homes and service to our residents every day, and we deeply regret the inconvenience to the Ross family. We have been working diligently to resolve the plumbing and related construction issues in the home since they first emerged in mid-August,” she wrote.

“Invitation Homes  is providing rent credit to the family for any days they do not have full access to their home, and we will continue to do so. We immediately offered the family hotel reimbursement and will be providing additional meal credits.

“Invitation Homes looks forward to quickly addressing the issues,” the statement read, “so that the Rosses are able to enjoy their home.”

Ardila said she’s happy to be back at home and not in a motel.

“Some kids were on sleeping on the floor, one was on a cot,” she said of her weeklong displacement. “With just two beds, I had everyone sleeping sideways, with their feet hanging out.”

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