AHA Neglects Disabled Foreclosure Victim as Friday Eviction Looms

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(APN) ATLANTA — A sheriff came to let Tameka “Cookie” Brewer know that she and her daughter and their belongings need to be out of their home by this Friday, August 17, 2007, Brewer tells Atlanta Progressive News.

Brewer, who is disabled and has a chronic heart condition, has been in and out of the hospital due to the stress of the pending eviction.

As reported previously by Atlanta Progressive News, Brewer’s home was foreclosed on because her landlord didn’t pay the mortgage, even though she paid rent, and even though AHA also paid Brewer’s voucher subsidy.

Atlanta Housing Authority is in the midst of a drastic plan to demolish all Atlanta public housing and replace it with a voucher program. So what will happen to the residents who receive vouchers? Ms. Brewer’s case is instructive.

According to multiple interviews with Brewer, AHA has failed so far to assist Brewer with finding a new apartment, paying her deposit, and actually moving.

Brewer, whose doctors advised her not too take on too much stress due to her heart condition, worries she and her daughter and their belongings will be put out and she’ll have nowhere to go to.

AHA never called Brewer to explain to her what was going on with the foreclosure, Brewer said. Instead, AHA asked Brewer to come to an appointment at their office. Brewer attended the meeting a couple weeks ago, with 25-30 other foreclosure victims, she said.

A “mortgage specialist” for AHA, Jeffrey Blunt, issued Brewer a new voucher and asked Brewer to call him, she said. The problem is, Blunt gave Brewer a number to a call center, where she could not speak with Blunt but could only leave several messages, she said.

Blunt finally called her in the final days before her eviction and asked her to fax him a list of what she needs, she said.

Brewer does not understand why AHA thinks voucher recipients have access to a fax machine, she says. She does not have access to one and has been unable to fax the requested list.

Brewer took her Social Security Income (SSI) this month and used it to put a deposit on a new apartment, she said. Brewer took her voucher to the landlord and is waiting on the landlord to complete the paperwork. Then, AHA will need to inspect the new apartment and approve it for Brewer’s voucher–all by this Friday–and the sooner the better.

Without drastic intervention from AHA, it is unlikely that will happen.

Brewer doesn’t understand why this is happening to her and her young daughter is also very worried, she said.

Rather than help Brewer in a timely, comprehensive, or sensitive way, AHA has apparently taken a hands-off approach that could leave her homeless.

Brewer needs help with transportation and moving; an expedient voucher approval; and to be reimbursed for her deposit and application fee.

State Rep. “Able” Mable Thomas attempted to contact AHA’s Barney Simms yesterday about Brewer’s case but she has not received a return phone call, she said.

About the author:

Matthew Cardinale is the News Editor for The Atlanta Progressive News and may be reached at matthew@atlantaprogressivenews.com

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Our syndicaton policy was updated June 2007. For more information on how to syndicate Atlanta Progressive News content, please visit: http://www.atlantaprogressivenews.com/extras/syndicate.html

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