87 families forced out of affordable housing units in South Austin

87 households at the Rosemont at Oak Valley have received a letter from their property management company stating their leases will be terminated on July 31 because of "natural disaster" or "catastrophe" — referencing February’s deadly winter storms.

The letter was distributed on Friday. Residents will not be able to contact property management until Tuesday because of the July 4th holiday.

"I thought I was dreaming. I couldn’t believe it. I’m a single parent." said Kecia Prince.

Prince, a full-time student, lives in a three-bedroom apartment at the Rosemont with her 13-year-old son. "If I move out of this three-bedroom, I'll probably never get another three-bedroom with my budget." she explained.

In February Prince says the family’s apartment flooded. She lost everything in her living room, dining room, son’s room, and office space. "I had to replace all of the furniture and everything." she explained.

Prince does not believe she can afford to move, having spent months recouping from the disaster. "Where are we going to get the money from? It is very costly to move."

Solveij Rosa of the nonprofit Austin Tenants Council told FOX 7 Austin Rosemont residents were not given alternate accommodations this winter, and few were given rent reductions despite uninhabitable conditions.

"[They were] told by the property management company that these units were livable but uncomfortable." said Rosa.

Today, Prince feels her unit is in the same state of disrepair it was before the storm. The only new addition is a machine used to manage moisture in the walls. She is confused as to why months after the storm, she was given such short, and sudden notice to vacate.

The Rosemont is a Strategic Housing Finance Corporation Property — an arm of the Travis County Housing Authority.

"Some of the families there are Section 8. All of the families there do qualify according to their income, which presents a lot of issues for them now as they're being told they have 30 days to leave and absolutely cannot afford the rent anywhere else in Austin." said Rosa.

Residents were given a list of resources and told Travis County would provide affordable housing refer tables.

"There aren't options. There is sort of the illusion of option given to people by saying ‘here's a resource list.’" Rosa stated.

Prince told FOX 7 Austin there is "no available housing." The properties in Travis County have long waiting lines. "30 days is not enough. It’s not… I just put my stuff back now I have to pack it up and get out. What do I tell my child?" she said. 

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