Rent payment delays resolved, but Memphis Housing Authority issue could lead to mistaken evictions

Problem Solvers

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — When the landlord of a 68-year-old woman had trouble getting his tenant help from the Memphis Housing Authority, he called WREG Problem Solver Stacy Jacobson

“We’re trying to do our best for our tenants,” said Adam Rudman, director of Apartments Near Me.

Like many landlords, Rudman has had to find a balance this year at his multiple properties including Winbranch Complex in Whitehaven. That’s where one of his tenants has lived for 15 years. She’s in a wheelchair and relies on section 8 housing vouchers for most of her rent.

“She’s always cheerful, always positive. Every time we reach out to her, go into her apartment we always try to make sure she’s going to be alright,” he said.

But for the last three months, he and his team haven’t gotten any of her rent payments from the Memphis Housing Authority. He showed us an email from October 4, where his leasing manager asked them to look into it.

“We sent numerous emails to section 8 and we tried to talk with them over the phone. They’re bureaucrats. It’s hard for her to get the help she needs,” Rudman said.

The Problem Solvers contacted MHA today. They thanked us for bringing this to their attention.

In this statement, they said, “We looked into Ms. Caldwell’s housing assistance and see where she never completed her annual recertification process which was due by October 1st.  Given the current pandemic conditions and her elderly status, we will go ahead and process her assistance.”

They went on to say, “it would be extremely helpful to us if anyone communicating with her could also help us help her by encouraging her to sign all outstanding documents and return them to us.”

Rudman said that’s exactly what he already did. He just can’t get anyone from the Housing Authority to work with him.

The Problem Solvers asked: “Is all of this contributing to possibly people getting evicted when they shouldn’t if they’re having paperwork issues?”

“Eventually, yeah,” he said.

He said he hoped they can fix these issues before that happens.

The Problem Solvers also asked the Housing Authority about what assistance they have for people who need help with paperwork. We’re still waiting to hear back.

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