PHOTO: More than 170 apartments at the Opal Tower are still vacant. Photo: Dominic Lorrimer

More than five months after hundreds of people were evacuated from the Opal Tower in Sydney’s west, residents fear they won’t be able to return home until late this year.

There are 172 apartments still empty in the Opal Tower, which residents were forced to leave on Christmas Eve after cracks appeared in the walls.

“We got put in temporary accommodation. It was supposed to be 10 days and it kept dragging out, week after week,” said one tenant, who requested anonymity for fear of repercussions for speaking to the media. “The further it went on, the less details we got.