Utility to provide apartments to those displaced by gas leak

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Homes are pictured on a hillside in Porter Ranch, California, January 6, 2016. California Governor Jerry Brown on January 6, 2016 declared a state of emergency in the Porter Ranch area due to the continuing leak of natural gas from the Aliso Canyon storage facility operated by the Southern California Gas Co. (Photo: JONATHAN ALCORN/AFP/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Southern California Gas Co. says people who have been living out of hotels since a gas leak prompted them to leave their Los Angeles homes may begin moving into what the utility calls high-quality apartments.

SoCal Gas made the announcement Friday, two days after a state appeals court ordered it to keep paying to temporarily house thousands of people evacuated from the upscale Porter Ranch area after a gas well began leaking last October.

The utility planned to stop payments after the well was capped weeks ago, but residents say the noxious odors it spewed persist. The court ordered that payments continue until at least April 27, when another court hearing is scheduled.

Residents have until Monday to agree to move.

Apartments will have kitchens, parking and Internet connections.

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