Austin, Texas — Seven months have passed since the deadly freeze in February, and the damage remains.
Most people are back to normal life, but hundreds of people are still feeling the impact. The family is struggling as leaders continue to learn from the winter storm.
Many people, like Kesia Prince, live in apartments and temporary housing that are dealing with the damage. She was called a residence-in-home hotel room for two months. She was forced to move out of the apartment due to floods and mold.
“It was sacrificed, it was sacrificed,” Prince said.
Property managers told her and nearly 90 other residents that her unit was unable to live due to the damage caused by the July storm.
“My place is to be fully demoed,” she said.
Renters and home advocates have provided city and county leaders with tours of many repair issues in Austin apartments. One of those leaders is Ann Howard, Commissioner of Travis County.
“We need to fix this situation, which is not fair to these families,” Howard said. “Now it’s coming to light and we need to fix it so that this never happens again.”
Rosemont in Oak Valley is just one of many apartments dealing with the damage in the Austin area.
Daniel Ward, Assistant Director of Austin Code, said:
Authorities reportedly responded to 792 incidents related to the storm. There are 48 cases that are still active.
“We certainly remember this experience and how we can quickly adapt our departments to respond to this kind of crisis,” he said.
The department is currently working on implementing a new resolution to enforce mold through training, collaboration with industry experts, and equipping officers with moisture meters. The department first pilots the program and then implements it in stages to see how well the program works and whether changes are needed.
“I think it helps warn us of situations where repairs aren’t being done properly,” says Word.
Meanwhile, BASTA is working with Rosemont tenants to restore what they call the “long history of laziness.”
“It’s really frustrating for people because they uprooted their lives,” said BASTA’s Gabi Garcia.
Strategic Housing Finance Corporation, the entity of the county, owns Rosemont in Oak Valley. Residents’ Associations have been fighting with owners for months to sign contracts promising the right to refund, rent repayment, and property improvement.
BASTA and Tenants want the County Commissioner to uphold Rosemont’s resolution and recommendations to change the SHFC to change the Articles of Incorporation and increase the rights of lessees.
“Everyone needs to wake up and look at the assets they manage to make sure they’re doing it right,” Howard said.
Prince realized that if the apartment wasn’t completed, he would have to move to another hotel at the end of September. Therefore, the road to recovery is not over yet.
“I feel like there are some kindergarten kids in charge of us. They are in the Romper Room while we are in hell,” she said.
Tenants continue to deal with damage caused by the February storm
Source link Tenants continue to deal with damage caused by the February storm