AHA Helps Foreclosure Victim Move after APN Exclusive

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(APN) ATLANTA — After weeks of apparent neglect by Atlanta Housing Authority, Tamika Brewer finally received adequate assistance and is now living in her new apartment, Atlanta Progressive News has learned.

As reported in an ongoing series by Atlanta Progressive News, Brewer got an eviction notice on a house she was renting, in part with a voucher from AHA, because her landlord failed to pay the mortgage.

Initially, AHA had not contacted Brewer to help her after the foreclosure, even though she went to AHA’s Office with her eviction paperwork, she said.

After APN’s first story, Brewer had been called into a meeting at AHA with 25 to 30 other foreclosure victims, she said, and she was issued another voucher.

However, Brewer, who is disabled and has a heart condition, still had not received help from AHA in finding a new apartment, paying a new deposit, transferring utilities, or with actually moving.

So, Brewer, who was in and out of the hospital due to the stress of the pending eviction, was forced to find an apartment herself.

After APN’s third story on Brewer was published and emailed to AHA’s director, Renee Glover–just days before the police were going to put her and her daughter and their belongings on the street–the next morning she received a phone call from AHA. AHA later that day hand-delivered to Brewer a $500 check to cover her deposit. They also expedited approval of her new apartment for her new voucher that same day.

AHA also hired a company to send a moving van and workers to move Brewer into the apartment, while AHA employees took Brewer out to lunch, she said.

Now, Brewer is in her new place.

“I love it. It has central air. It’s central heat. It’s pretty. You ought to see the color of it. They have carpet all the way through. They have a big old bath tub and a shower and walk-in closets and a laundry closet. The bus stop is right here. I ain’t got to go far to get a bus. It’s a downstairs unit on the end,” Brewer said.

Her daughter was so upset due to the move that she went to spend the night at a friend’s house, Brewer said.

“She ain’t even been here yet. She didn’t like the idea we were gonna move from a 3 bedroom house. I told her this was basically by force. If I’d had time, I’d have found another house. But I didn’t have time. She got upset and asked if she could go over to girlfriend’s house,” Brewer said.

“If they [AHA] had checked into who they were sending their moneys to, maybe I’d have been in another house, because everyone would have been notified properly,” Brewer said.

“I should’ve gotten into another house, even if they had to get out and find that house for me,” Brewer said.

“It’s not over cause I want help with an attorney. She [the landlord] did me wrong,” Brewer said.

“It was alright. The situation could’ve been handled a lot better than that. I didn’t say it’s all good, but it’s all right. But it’s not over,” Brewer said.

“I just thank God for your [APN’s] assistance. Because if I hadn’t knew Ms. Wright [President of Jurisdiction-Wide Resident Advisory Board], I wouldn’t have got in touch with you, in order for my voice to be heard, to get my attention that I deserve. That I’m entitled to, because I did everything AHA asked of me,” Brewer said.

“I kept finding myself crying,” Brewer said.

“She [my daughter] told me no matter how good you do, they gonna throw some wrenches in it. I told her I met some new people over the summer. She said she heard I was on the news. I told her I was on the Internet. She don’t like to see me crying and stuff,” Brewer said.

“The stories that we did, the changes that we did was big. I got someone to make them understand so I don’t fall through no cracks, I refuse. Ms. Felicia [at AHA] said she’s gonna try to keep me on a caseload for a year to try to get me into a house. What I’m accustomed to,” Brewer said.

“They took my washer, dryer, my water hose, lawnmower, AC, 2 rakes, and some yard hedge clippers. They said they were gonna put it in storage for me,” Brewer said.

Brewer said she’s required to pay $75 per month towards her rent, based on her SSI income. AHA will pay the remainder of her $550 rent directly to the landlord.

Does Brewer believe the other voucher holders going through evictions due to foreclosures would get the same help she did?

“No. Because they probably don’t know of APN News. But if anyone of them call Ms. Brewer, I’ll tell them, don’t keep crying. Call Mr. Matthew and call me back in a month. Cause he gonna keep you busy for a month. He’s gonna work hard but you’re gonna work hard too.”

AHA still hasn’t said much about the foreclosure situation, Brewer said.

“When I asked them, the only answer they gave me was, I’m not the only one. We get people through every week. I’m sorry, but we got you a voucher and we’re gonna try to assist you,” Brewer said.

Brewer left the apartment in perfect condition she said. “I went over today and swept the rug out. I’m supposed to meet JR Johnson [mortgage company agent] and do a walk-through on Monday. If everything’s ok, he gonna authorize the money,” Brewer said. Johnson told APN he offered Brewer $950 if she moved out early and left the place clean and empty.

APN recently emailed a list of questions to AHA’s spokesperson, Rick White of PR firm Alisias, regarding the mortgage fraud issue and AHA’s response. White said he would work on getting responses to APN as soon as possible.

About the author:

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

Revised syndication policy:

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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