Greenspoint residents claim they’re being evicted for raising concerns over rents and flooded units

Greenspoint resident

HOUSTON – Life after the flood has led to quite a smackdown between tenants and landlords in Greenspoint.

Yep, both sides have come out swinging.

“People are struggling out here,” resident Matthew Taylor told reporters at his apartment complex. “Some people have lost their whole everything. ”

But property owner Steve Moore says he’s giving residents a break. “Every resident that was flooded we gave 25 percent off May rent,” he announced.

But some residents say they are being thrown out.

“And I’m getting charged the full amount, plus late fees, then I come home and get an eviction note?” two-year resident Mary Vasquez confronted Moore. “How fair is that?”

Moore says his landlords are doing a great job.

“There is no property management company that manages low-income properties in Houston that does a better job,” Moore insisted. “…That’s more dedicated to the residents than we are. None. Not even close.”

But a group called the Texas Organizing Project says many residents are up in arms over how they are being treated.

“Unfortunately nothing has been resolved,” one rep declared. “Many residents are stuck between a rock and a hard place.”

“I have a hole in my wall through to the next neighbor’s apartment,” Taylor described. “I have wires hanging out. Everything is just not livable.”

Vasquez claims after she complained about none of her appliances working, she was still charged full rent. “And you’re demanding me to pay you rent, and this is my last month on your lease?” Vasquez questioned. “And then your manager is treating me like crap?”

Moore says most residents are cooperating with management. “To be a landlord– a good owner– in this neighborhood is a tough job,” he said. “It’s a very tough job.”

“He’s lying through his teeth,” one resident charged. “And I don’t think that’s right.”

“I have nowhere to go,” Vasquez explained. “My husband’s been out of work for two weeks due to the flood.”

So what’s Moore’s response to the disgruntled residents?

“There’s always going to be some that fall through the cracks,” he confessed. “I guarantee that we’re not perfect.”

Yeah, it sounds like you can sure that again.

Perhaps both sides can call it a draw before things get ugly!

This story originally appeared 5/18/2016 on CW 39.

Residents of Greenspoint to Apartment Managers: “No Rent for Unlivable Apartments”

Flood victim

Residents of Greenspoint-area apartments today organized with TOP to fight back against managers who are demanding full rent for severely damaged apartments and threatening to tow their cars.

“I have a pregnant wife and an eight-month-old daughter,” said Angel Lopez whose Woods of Greenbriar apartment flooded. “They can’t live here. The smell, the mold, the damage, this place is not livable. It doesn’t make sense to pay rent when repairs are not being done.”

The manager of The Woods of Geenbriar tried to downplay the damage to the apartments to the media, saying that the sheetrock and carpets damaged by the flood had been removed, and that as soon as the city inspects the apartments, he can start repairing the apartments.

But a look inside the first floor apartments revealed torn up apartments with exposed walls that reek of mold. One woman said the smell keeps her up at night. “The apartments are not livable.”

For many residents, losing their cars also meant losing income, either because they couldn’t get to work or because they used their cars to make a living.

TOP is now working with the city to move these residents out while the apartments are being repaired. And during that time, we are calling on managers to forgo rental payments until FEMA and insurance payments can be secured, said Tarsha Jackson, TOP’s Harris County director.

“First step in getting people back on their feet is finding them a suitable place to live,” Jackson said. “Then, the apartments’ repair should be expedited so they can return to their homes and lives. We are calling on the managers to waive rent for families in unsuitable conditions.”

After the press conference organized by TOP Saturday afternoon, several residents were moved to hotels. Relocation efforts will continue until every person who needs suitable housing has it.

The letter to apartment managers detailing demands. 

Pictures of the press conference and damaged apartments.

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