85 families in affordable apartment complex said they had to leave due to winter storm damage

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More than 85 families from an affordable housing complex in southeast Austin are evicted this month after the management company told them it had to make repairs caused by the winter storm in February.

Capstone Real Estate Services, which operates Rosemont in Oak Valley, a resort located at 2800 Collins Creek Drive, informed affected tenants on Friday that they have until July 31 to vacate their units.

“We have found that the extent of the damage to your accommodation will unfortunately require that we terminate your lease and you vacate the accommodation so that we can make the necessary repairs,” a letter to tenants said.

Evicted tenants say the situation is unfair and suspect.

Kecia Prince is one of the residents and says when the letters were sent out on Friday they all got together to talk about it. Some of the units, like hers, were heavily damaged by flooding during the storm, but others had mold and other issues that lasted longer.

“A lot of those people who are being asked to leave, they haven’t even suffered damage from the storm,” Prince said. “The things that need fixing were problems before the storm.”

Capstone did not respond to a request for an interview.

Prince says the resort has changed property managers several times over the past few years, leading to no repairs.

Patrick Howard, CEO of the Housing Authority of Travis County, said Capstone was hired as the property manager for the complex in March and “followed proper protocols to ensure all previous repairs were carried out thoroughly. and successful “. But some units that had been repaired before still had significant humidity readings after the storm, he said.

“The repairs needed will involve tearing down the drywall and flooring. Plumbing repairs to broken and cracked pipes will also need to be done, which will leave some homes without running water or access to toilets, ”Howard said in a statement Wednesday. “Once these repairs are completed and the units no longer show any signs of dampness, the rebuilding process will then have to begin. Ultimately, it would not be safe for residents to remain in their units during these necessary repairs. “

The letter from Capstone states that tenants will receive their full security deposit and will not have to pay a lease termination fee. It also says evicted tenants will be put on a priority waiting list if they wish to return after repairs, but the company is not offering to accommodate them or find them alternative accommodation in the meantime.

In a statement on Wednesday, Travis County Judge Andy Brown said he was calling on landlords, the Strategic Housing Finance Corporation and representatives of Capstone to address the entire Commissioners Tribunal on Tuesday.

“In Travis County, we make it a priority to maintain safe and stable housing for all members of our community. We are meeting with residents of the Rosemont at Oak Valley apartment complex, ”Brown said in the statement. “We have spoken with our Travis County team and continue to explore options to ensure the more than 85 families facing termination notices will receive support and alternative housing options.”

Photo caption: A BASTA organization door hanger offering information about evictions is shown in an apartment in North Austin on October 11. Tenants at an apartment complex in southeast Austin say they have until July 31 to vacate their apartments after the management company says it needs to repair damage from the winter storm from February.

Editor’s Note: Andy Brown is a board member of the Capital of Texas Media Foundation, the parent nonprofit of the Austin Monitor.

This story was produced as part of the Austin Monitorreporting partnership with KUT.

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