HOUSTON – Seniors worried about the future of their living center met with a lawyer Wednesday night.
Some residents of 2100 Memorial said they feel unsure. Once told move out and given five days to leave, the seniors got a new offer from their landlord.
The Houston Housing Authority, which is not owned by the city, promised to pay moving expenses and help find new temporary homes for residents.
The building on Memorial Drive is not safe because Hurricane Harvey damaged fire and electrical systems, HHA said in a statement.
“There’s nothing wrong,” one resident said. “I don’t see why they have to evict us.”
Connie Castillo, 61, lost her retirement savings in the Enron collapse, had to sell her home and then moved into 2100 Memorial. She loves it and does not plan to leave yet.
“(HHA and management) say (the building) was deemed unhealthy for us to live here,” Castillo said. “Yet they’re not throwing out all the contaminated stuff in storage.”
One resident showed us paperwork from FEMA rejecting claims for help because “disaster did not make (her) home unsafe.”
Paula Sitter lives there on an HHA voucher provided to qualified seniors and low-income families. Sitter applied for a new apartment through HHA. However, she is still waiting on the movers promised by HHA.
“Many of the people in Houston, they’re appalled by this,” Sitter said. “This was uncalled for. It’s just a lot of heartache (because) we love this place and to be thrown out on the street it was handled all wrong.”
Several residents who do not have vouchers met with a lawyer.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner ordered his own inspections of the high rise. He and city council want to know for sure if the seniors need to move.
HHA said it is committed to “protecting” the property for seniors needing affordable housing.