South Austin apartment complex forces neighbors out, citing winter storm damage

Austin

AUSTIN, Texas (KXAN) — More than 85 residents are being forced out of their apartments at The Rosemont at Oak Valley in south Austin.

The reason? Winter storm damage, according to a notice from property management.

In the note, dated July 2, management says “While Rosemont at Oak Velley has taken steps in order to mitigate the effects of any damage, we have found that the extent of damage experienced in your unit will unfortunately require that we terminate your lease and you to vacate the unit so that we may make necessary repairs.”

On Tuesday, Keyionda Goff and her family were packing up her elderly mother Linda’s apartment.

“Now, we’re rushing trying to figure something out,” Goff said. “We don’t know where she’s going.”

Goff said her mother has been dealing with a number of problems in her apartment for a long time. 

“You can actually look and see up there,” Goff said pointing to a hole in the ceiling. “I’ve been trying to get my mother out of here…it costs money to move.”

The notice cites February’s winter storm for damages — it doesn’t mention any specifics. It does provide a list of resources to help with finding a new place. 

“There is nothing available right now in the City of Austin – as of this moment, for her [my mother],” Goff said.

The Austin Apartment Association said the housing market is rough right now.

“Occupancy definitely has increased, which does make vacancy much more limited,” Emily Blair, with the Austin Apartment Association, said. “Emerging from the pandemic, post-winter storm, it’s sort of created a confluence of challenges, for people seeking housing.”

Blair did provide another resource that she thinks could specifically help residents at Rosemont. On Tuesday, this housing development listed 184 units that will be transformed into housing.

Linda and dozens of others at Rosemont have less than a month to move. 

“Where will she go?,” Goff asked. “We don’t know that yet.”

Filled with frustration, Goff said they want more help from the complex.

“We want them to assist in this process,” she said. “We want them to get her to a place where she will be able to breathe, until she finds somewhere to go.”

The complex will be repairing all units affected, but management is unsure how long that’ll take, according to the notice.

Travis County responds to termination notice

Travis County Judge Andy Brown and Commissioner Margaret Gómez released a statement Wednesday on the termination notice sent to the apartment complex tenants.

The release says the complex is owned by the Strategic Housing Finance Corporation Property, which exists under the Housing Authority of Travis County to provide affordable housing. Capstone Real Estate Services manages the property for the Strategic Housing Finance Corporation. 

Commissioners plan to discuss how the county can help the displaced residents, inviting the Strategic Housing Finance Corporation and Capstone Real Estate Services to Tuesday’s commissioners court meeting.

The release says, “the more than 85 impacted families living at Rosemont are primarily working class. While the current living conditions are unacceptable, the 30-day termination notice fails to provide sufficient time for residents to find alternative housing, particularly given the significant lack of affordable housing across the region.”

“We have discussed 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,” Brown said in the release. 

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