Two houses shut down by building inspectors last week reopened yesterday, allowing 21 students to move back into their off-campus homes.

Six students at 3301 Prospect St. and 15 students at 3401 Prospect St. were able to return to their homes yesterday after city inspectors determined that the houses were safe.

The houses had been identified as having multiple housing code violations, including non-working or too few smoke detectors, according to the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs spokeswoman Gwen Davis.

“Really the only reason we were actually out in the first place was missing fire alarms in each room,” Chris Burling (COL ’05), who lives at 3301 Prospect St., said. “Once the inspectors gave us a list of what was wrong, our landlords came in and fixed things.”

City inspectors conducted nearly 30 inspections along three blocks of Prospect Street last week after a basement fire at 3318 Prospect St. killed Daniel Rigby (MSB ’05) on Oct. 17. At least two of the homes closed by inspectors were located on S Street in Burleith.

University spokeswoman Laura Cavender said that seven homes with student tenants remain closed and 22 Georgetown students remain displaced.

At both homes green permit signs signifying their reopening were visible from the street. Residents appeared relieved as they carried personal belongings back into their homes.

But some residents expressed disappointment with how the city had handled their evictions.

Terry Boyle (SFS ’63, LAW ’72), life-member of Delta Phi Epsilon, said the eviction of the fraternity house had been inappropriate.

“There was no need to order 3401 Prospect St. to be emptied as it happened. The city could simply have told us, `make the following changes within 24 or 48 hours or we’ll close you down,'” he said.

Boyle said that even after the necessary repairs were made, residents of the home were forced to wait four days to receive approval of the changes.

Many students and residents said they were pleased with the way the university community responded to the plight of the displaced students.

According to Boyle, Georgetown officials were present in the rain when his home was evicted last weekend and offered help to confused residents with nowhere to go.

“Tuesday’s raid showed the GU family at its best,” he said.

Tom Kozlowski (SFS ’06), who lives at 3401 Prospect St., praised university officials for helping him.

“I’m just happy because they gave me free housing and whatever I needed during the crisis,” he said. “I have nothing but praise for the university’s response.”

Frank Vargas (SFS ’07) said a professor in one of his classes extended offers of assistance to people affected by the evictions.

“It was nice to hear the university – or at least a professor – make an official remark that showed that they understood that sometimes, especially now, students can find themselves in difficult situations,” he said.

At a Monday afternoon information session in the Village C Alumni lounge, Chuck Van Sant, Georgetown’s director of Off-Campus Student Life, reassured students that the university would provide on-campus housing if their houses failed DCRA inspections.

“If anybody gets kicked out due to inspections, you will have a place to go. I will help you find a place to go,” he said.

Van Sant also said that rumors of the university charging evicted students $50 per night for on-campus housing were false.

“Just let me emphasize that we don’t want you to have any impediment to getting inspections,” he said. “Do not let anticipated consequences keep you from getting a necessary inspection.”

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