HOUSTON - On Wednesday, the Houston Housing Authority board and the HHA CEO met with seniors who say they are getting the runaround at the 2100 Memorial Senior Living high rise.
Authorities want residents to evacuate their building because of flood damage from Hurricane Harvey.
Management made relocation plans, received a $250,000 loan from the HHA board to pay for moving expenses and invited volunteers to help residents through the process.
However, some residents said they still cannot find a place to go. They gave authorities an earful during an emergency HHA board meeting on Wednesday.
"We will not go quietly," said resident Paula Sitter. "Nor will we go without a fight."
CEO Tory Gunsolley showed us the buildings transformers on the ground level outside the high rise. Both flooded during the storm and both of them still work; but authorities fear for seniors' safety when and if the transformers fail.
They also need seniors out the building to do repairs, Gunsolley said.
Still, residents who say they feel deceived are questioning the HHA's motives. At times, the crowd shouted while Gunsolley spoke.
"I can't hear the question," he told the crowd.
"You were saying that you can't make the clock go back, but I wish I could because the last major decision I made was the hiring decision for you," said a man who claimed to be a past member of the HHA board. "And if I could, I'd change that."
Connie Dubois showed us a list of places HHA suggested as possible moves for her.
"But we couldn't find a place because either they were too expensive, there was a waiting list, or they were so far away," she said.
Council member Karla Cisneros listened along with city staff, who say seniors will be treated with dignity and care.
Gunsolley told KHOU 11 News his group will find new lists of apartments for residents. However, with limited apartments available after the hurricane, he cannot promise the next apartment will be like 2100 Memorial.
"We're going to continue to work with people and help them get them what they need to understand they can't stay here," Gunsolley said.
Repairs may take six to nine weeks. However, HHA needs money from FEMA to begin that process, Gunsolley said.
They also need FEMA to help pay to move electrical systems upstairs to prevent a similar situation in the future.
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