NORTH MIAMI BEACH – It’s been nearly three years since residents of a North Miami Beach condo building were forced out of their homes because it was deemed unsafe.

Those residents are still not allowed to go back home.

Sonya Novoseltskaya remembers the evacuation day clearly.

She was inside her apartment, there was a commotion outside, and soon a police officer was at her door.

“He said you need to take a little bit of documents, a little bit of clothes and out, out in 15 minutes, be out from the building,” she said. “I started crying, I was scared.”

The 10-story, 1972-built Crestview Towers in North Miami Beach was evacuated on live TV after an engineering report deemed it unsafe, citing poor surface conditions, concrete spalling and signs of moisture on balcony slabs.

Those issues were only discovered after the heartbreaking condo collapse in Surfside that occurred just days earlier, prompted an audit of older buildings.

That was almost three years ago.

Now, repair work continues, but Novoseltskaya and the nearly 300 others still can’t go home, except to retrieve belongings.

Local 10 News’ Janine Stanwood joined Novoseltskaya on a trip to the place she called home for decades.

There was no electricity and when she walked into her bedroom, they found the floor was buckled.

Stanwood spoke to North Miami Beach spokesperson Evan Ross and asked what was taking so long and if the city was holding anything up.

“The city isn’t holding anything up,” Ross said. “We’re doing everything we can in terms of expediting their permits, expediting their inspections.”

The city says the onus is on the condo association. The only way residents can go back home is for the association to submit a new 40-year recertification report that addresses all structural and electrical issues, and that hasn’t happened yet.

At the end of October, the city attorney sent a letter to the association laying out the items that are required under the Florida Building Code in order for the city to issue that certificate of occupancy so people can move back in.

A state attorney’s office investigation found mismanagement of money due to in part to “lack of desire to be involved” but no criminal intent by the association, and the case was closed.

After attempts to call and email the association went unanswered, Local 10 News went to a recent condo board meeting, but was not allowed inside and was asked to leave.

“You can’t come in and I can’t comment at this moment,” a woman told Stanwood. “We keep everybody updated and there’s a web page. All the information is there.”

“They’re telling us they’re not being updated though,” Stanwood said.

“No, that’s not right,” the woman replied. “That’s not true.”

Records show all the permits for work applied for have been issued, but some work has still failed inspection.

Novoseltskaya said she still has to pay her monthly condo fees and she’s on the hook for the assessment levied after all this. All that, and she now has to pay rent on another apartment after housing assistance ended.

She lives with another resident to make ends meet.

A condo reform bill is gaining steam in Tallahassee.

It would allow the Department of Business and Professional Regulation to enforce condo association laws.

In the meantime, until the Crestview Association makes the necessary repairs and passes inspections, the residents won’t be allowed back home.