Families living at the Budget Inn are now looking for a new place to live
Electricity and water were shut off at the Budget Inn, at 2801 E. New York Ave. in DeLand, on Monday, May 23. More than 50 families were living at the motel that Volusia County staff have repeatedly asked the owner to improve.
While some residents left when the power was shut off, some have stuck around, either because they already paid to stay there, because they have nowhere to go, or both. One such resident is Cedric Bradley. He, his fiancée, and his four kids — including a baby — have been living at the Budget Inn for more than two months. He was unaware of ongoing issues with the motel.
“I was just trying to look for housing and shelter for my kids, just to keep us off the streets,” Bradley said.
He pays weekly to stay at the motel, most recently $375, he said, and it was a shock when the power shut off.
“It’s extremely hot, and I’ve got babies,” Bradley said. “Other people have families and babies, too.”
The first complaint about the building came in 2018, Volusia County Community Information Director Kevin Captain told The Beacon.
“Since then, county staff has inspected the building several times and noted deplorable living conditions, including filth, insect infestation, a faulty wastewater treatment system and lack of smoke detectors,” he said.
Last year, Captain said, various agencies, including The Neighborhood Center of West Volusia and Halifax Urban Ministries, were called upon to provide resources to motel residents.
“County staff notified residents in September that they must find another place to live,” Captain said. “Some residents left, but as of early May, about 50 to 70 remained. Some people that had been there for months and even years.”
According to Captain, the county repeatedly warned building owner Eldad Cohen that if the building’s problems weren’t resolved, the electricity would be shut off.
“Thus far,” Captain said, “the owner has not complied.”
Cohen owns the building through a company called ENY Equity LLC.
Cohen was unable to be reached for comment by press time.
This story will be updated with additional info as it becomes available.