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GoFundMe aims to help displaced Horizon West Condominiums residents in Waukesha

"Suddenly got the rug pulled out from under us..."
Horizon West condominium building
Posted at 8:49 PM, Jun 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-06 23:17:14-04

WAUKESHA, Wis. — It’s been more than six months since the near collapse of a Waukesha condo. A new GoFundMe aims to help residents absorb costs.

"So, I’ve lost all my equity,” said former resident Mary O’Herron.

It's a disturbing reality for dozens of families. In total, 70 people living across 49 units were all abruptly forced to move from the Horizon West Condominiums in Waukesha back in December.

Each family has varying means of finding their way back on their feet.

“We were planning on staying there. We enjoyed it. It was a fantastic place to live. Enjoyed our neighbors and suddenly got the rug pulled out from under us,” said Brian Ludwig.

Not everyone’s transition back into stable living has gone smoothly. TMJ4 News spoke with three of those residents. Many of them pouring years of equity into a building they can't step inside.

Because the building still stands, many say they are having trouble getting insurance funds.

“We’re [saying], ‘If we can’t enter the building. It’s the same as if it had been destroyed.’ [It] just seems the insurance should be responsible for that,” Ludwig said.

A GoFundMe has been set up to help those displaced by the emergency evacuation. So far, its raised $16,000 of its $50,000 goal.

The funds will go to families, legal fees and aid in demolition costs.

“If insurance is going to cover anything, or if we’re going to be out our equity and our mortgage and having to shell out tens of thousands of dollars for demolition of the building,” said former resident Laurel Peterson.

Mary O’Herron, a retired postal worker of 31 years, now has no equity after years of investment. Even with her nest egg and pension, she said not knowing if she will be able to claim insurance is tough.

"When it wasn’t going great, I knew I would have a decent pension when I retired, but it’s going to be tough going forward,” she said.

A link to the GoFundMe can be found HERE.

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