“I feel like my independence is threatened”: Disabled tenant, landlord struggle to do business with Killeen Housing Authority
KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) - Landlords and tenants are speaking up after a months long battle with the Killeen Housing Authority. A landlord says she isn’t getting paid, and a disabled tenant who relies on Section 8 housing is currently being evicted.
Chasty Williams has relied on the Killeen Housing Authority since 2015 and hasn’t had a problem, until now.
“The beginning of this year starting in January is when the checks started bouncing,” says Williams.
She has lived at her apartment for more than a year, the complex does not normally accept Section 8 but they agreed to work with Chasty. When she went to renew in April, she asked the housing authority if she could start going month-to-month and she says caseworker okayed it.
“Turns out that I wasn’t supposed to, but no one ever told me that. So they never paid for those months that I went month-to-month,” Williams said.
And now her apartment is filled with boxes because she is being forced to move.
“Physically, I have a special need. I can’t just go out and find another place. Housing afforded me to be independent, so when things happen like this I feel like my independence is threatened,” Williams explains.
It’s not just the tenants feeling the effect, a landlord in Killeen says she waited weeks for payments dating back to July, even after being told by the KHA that the money was on the way. And now, she doesn’t have the money for the month of September.
Lisa Stratton says the reason she started renting out her home is so that it could be available to those under Section 8, “I did that specifically as part of my business design, because that’s the community I wanted to serve,” Stratton says.
But with only half the money coming in, she is stuck between a rock and a hard place. “It makes both me and the tenant vulnerable because I need to pay a mortgage on this property,” Stratton says.
KWTX spoke with a case manager at Killeen Housing Authority, she told me that they are short staffed and she is currently working many of the cases on her own. We are still waiting to hear back from them regarding specifically Chasty and Lisa’s current situations.
This story will be updated as we learn more.
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