Alton Elderly Couple Continues to Struggle without Electricity

5 years 10 months 6 days ago Thursday, July 27 2017 Jul 27, 2017 July 27, 2017 6:52 PM July 27, 2017 in News

ALTON - A Rio Grande Valley couple CHANNEL 5 NEWS reported in 2015 is still living without electricity.

Candelario De Los Santos and Eva Pena said they rely on a generator to power a fan they keep in their RV. They also beat the heat by finding shade in their front yard.

“I feel happy watching the chickens and the goats, and we'll be here until God wants us to be. That is the answer,” said De Los Santos.

The couple said they spend the majority of their time among their animals. Pena is going blind and relies on De Los Santos for assistance.

“I want to live the best life possible. Not having problems is what’s important,” said Pena.

The city of Alton deemed the four structures on their property uninhabitable in 2015. A new zoning inspector visited their property Thursday with the same verdict.

He said adding power would present a fire hazard.

“None of them are habitable in the condition that they’re in,” said Alton City Manager Jeff Underwood. “And most of them because they’re temporary housing structures are not something that you would even repair to try to get it to a point where somebody can live in it in a safe manner.”

The couple told CHANNEL 5 NEWS they hope to one day find a new home capable of safely sustaining electricity.

They said they are willing to make installments on a new home. But doing so would mean they have to remove the existing structures on their property. 

Underwood said it's important for property owners to make sure the structures they purchase as homes meet zoning requirements in their area.

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