TRURO — A month after Nicholas and Angela Rose and their two children became the last residents to be evicted from the Truro Motor Inn, the town released a statement defending its actions against landlords David and Carolyn Delgizzi of Weston.
“While we are disappointed to have valued members of our community displaced as a result of this process, the Town and particularly the Board of Health and its staff, stand by their decision to require that the Inn be closed,” the press release said. It was sent to the Independent by Health Agent Emily Beebe.
Nicholas Rose said last month that many of the 50 residents who previously lived in the motel were forced off Cape because they could not find anywhere nearby to move to. The Rose family is paying out of pocket to stay in motels while they continue to look for permanent housing.
Judge Donna Salvidio of the Southeast Housing Court had ordered the Delgizzis to relocate their tenants and to cover the cost of relocation. That did not happen, and Salvidio then ordered the property owners to evict the remaining occupants through separate eviction actions over the course of the past year.
“The town was not party to those actions and had no control over the disposition of those cases or the manner in which the occupants were relocated,” the press release said.
According to Housing Court records, 15 tenants were still living in the Inn in September 2022 when Salvidio ordered the Delgizzis to carry out the evictions. On July 6, once the Roses left, the Inn was empty.
The town had initiated legal action against the Delgizzis in 2019 after an inspection revealed numerous violations of the state sanitary code, including bedrooms smaller than required, overloaded electrical outlets, rooms without smoke and carbon-monoxide detectors, and a failed septic system.
The Delgizzis’ refusal to bring the property into compliance “forced the town into litigation for the protection of the occupants, neighboring property owners, and first responders,” the press release said.
The Delgizzis ignored multiple court orders to upgrade the septic system and bring the property into compliance. They also ignored requests to help tenants relocate. At a contempt hearing in February 2022, the Delgizzis agreed to contract Boston-based property management company RND Consultants to manage the relocation of tenants.
But that contract ended in October 2022 because “the parties were unable to find alternative housing that all of the occupants found acceptable,” according to the town’s press release. The Delgizzis were also behind on paying $37,605 to RND for its services, RND’s president Janice Bergeron wrote in a letter to the Delgizzis’ attorney, Dina Browne, explaining why RND had stopped providing services to tenants.
When asked if the town could assist the Rose family or any other tenants who were evicted from the Inn without a subsidy from the Delgizzis as per the court order, Town Manager Darrin Tangeman said the town doesn’t have the funds nor is there a legal mechanism to do that.
Tangeman said that families affected by Truro Motor Inn evictions could seek help through the Homeless Prevention Council’s rental assistance program, which offers up to $600 a month for up to three years to income-eligible residents of Truro. But according to HPC Executive Director Hadley Luddy, the rental assistance program is available only for “residents in existing or newly secured year-round rentals.”
The Rose family found temporary housing at the Wellfleet Motel after their eviction, as the Independent has reported. That motel’s nightly rates range from $239 to $425 for a room, or $6,692 to $11,900 a month.
The town has not determined what is next for the Truro Motor Inn, Tangeman said during his office hours on July 31. He said that the board of health and select board would hold a joint executive session on Aug. 1 to discuss the property’s future. The agenda for that executive session was “to consider the purchase, exchange, or lease or value of real property.”
According to Truro Treasurer Caitlin Gelatt, the Delgizzis owe $38,823 in back taxes for the property.
The Delgizzis owe $211,728 on another Truro property at 101 Shore Road, Gelatt said.
The Delgizzis bought three properties in Brewster in 2019 and 2020 while they were in litigation with the town to bring the Truro Motor Inn up to minimum habitability standards. (See story on this page by Christine Legere.)
Housing court records from 2021 show that the Delgizzis were charging tenants of the Inn a combined monthly rent of $18,400 or $216,000 annually.
Carolyn and David Delgizzi declined to comment for this article.