Alan and Yvonne Orchard got a look at their new living quarters Wednesday.

About two miles from their condemned home on Windjammer Way, the Orchards toured a one-bedroom apartment that city officials arranged for them at 28 Bluff Road.

It marked a turning point in a process that has not been pleasant for the couple, nor for the city.

The city declared the home “dangerous and unsafe” on Dec. 11. A Jan. 17 court date for an eviction notice — which could be appealed — was closing in.

“We have to take it,” Yvonne Orchard said Wednesday morning. “We’re not happy about it, but we’ve got to take it.”

Neither was it a happy process for city officials, who struggled with the process of an eviction order.

City Manager William Giroux said during one City Council meeting that it could have been worse: City officials would have had to deal with their consciences should the roof cave in on the Orchards’ home while they were inside.

The Orchards have been living with a hole in their roof covered by a tarp, and a slanted building that a structural engineer considers dangerous.

Still, 81-year-old Alan Orchard’s only income is Social Security, and Yvonne earns a tiny wage working part-time at a supermarket.

Alan Orchard has said all along that they don’t have the money to pay rent.

“I don’t consider it a very happy New Year,” he said Wednesday morning. “The place is tiny that we’re going to. We’ll have to get rid of an awful lot of stuff. There’s no room for my table saw, and my other tools.”

Yvonne Orchard said the city paid the security deposit for the apartment, which is part of Atlantic Townhouse Apartments.

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