A VETERAN has revealed how he and over 50 residents were almost evicted from their apartment complex.
The eviction would have stayed on the Virginia man’s record despite the fact that he was not at fault.
After the building announced it was closing due to renovations, residents feared a potential mass eviction.
According to the city’s director of housing and development Susan McCulloch, many impacted residents were older, single adults.
Fortunately, the city worked with the building’s owners and other agencies to find new housing for the former tenants.
“There was a big concern about what we would do if they were all evicted at once,” McCulloch said.
A 66-year-old military veteran was among those who faced the possible eviction.
John Harden was living at Stratford Manor for about seven years when he received news that he would have to find housing elsewhere.
While tenants were rehoused, almost all of them saw increased rent.
Harden mentioned that application fees were another expense he had not anticipated.
In addition to the fees, Harden and the other residents worried that the eviction could taint their records.
Diane Pagen, who works with the city’s community development department, explained that if the evictions had occurred, people like Harden could have trouble finding housing again.
“[The owners] did everything possible to evict no one,” she said.
“This is extremely important, as having an eviction on one’s record makes it even harder for residents to find new housing.”
Most tenants facing eviction are forced to vacate after they miss their rent or break the building policies.
In this case, the tenants would have been evicted simply because the building was in disrepair and needed to be renovated.
The truth was that John Harden, and many others, did nothing wrong.
The landlords decided to give the residents over 30 days to move out so that tenants could search for apartments and housing voucher applications.
Pagen said the agencies worked together to ensure each person could move out without being evicted.
“We were calling them one by one, trying to see what their situation was, if they could move on their own or if they needed help,” Pagen added.