For the third time in less than two weeks, residents of, until recently, federally subsidized apartments in Homewood met to see what options they have after being told on Oct. 11 they have to move—in 60 days.
They all asked the same question: Why weren’t we told earlier?
“I had just finished painting my kitchen, I’d already painted the other rooms—they (the landlord) wouldn’t give me paint, so I did it myself—When I got the letter two Saturdays ago,” said Yvonne Johnson. “The letter was from Texas, told us to go to the YMCA, and that’s when they told us we had to be out in 60 days.”
Now, she says, she and the other tenants are getting the runaround. They’ve been given a $100 travel stipend to search for new housing and $200 for application fees—but that’s it.
Johnson and others who attended an Oct. 26 meeting at the Community Empowerment Association in Homewood said the Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh has not provided property listings—but even if they had, these residents now have to reapply for U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Section 8 vouchers, and some may not qualify.
Dorothy Kolling, 78, has lived in her Kelly Street apartment for 17 years after being displaced from another housing community.
“I’m getting stressed out,” she told the Courier. “I can’t sleep. I don’t eat but half the time, and I still don’t know where I’m going to go.”
She isn’t alone. Several of the residents at the meeting had been moved to Homewood when East Liberty Gardens was torn down.