AUSTIN (KXAN) — After Travis County commissioners said in a meeting early Tuesday that they didn’t have much authority over the situation at The Rosemont at Oak Valley apartment complex, they later announced that the Housing Authority of Travis County will withdraw termination notices issued to the nearly 90 residents that had previously been told they had 30-days to leave.
“Because the residents of Rosemont at Oak Valley organized and shared their stories, the nearly 90 families facing termination notices will not be displaced while repairs are made,” Travis County Judge Andy Brown said.
Earlier in the day, Judge Brown explained that the apartment complex is owned by an LLC, the board members for which are the same as the board members of the Housing Authority of Travis County. Brown said while they appoint those members to the board, those boards take action independently of commissioners.
“While we recognize our authority is limited, we did want to take this opportunity to make sure the board is informed,” Judge Brown said of the agenda item early Tuesday.
But the Court listened to dozens of testimonies from residents of the apartment complex, and apparently changed their tune.
“The court ought to at least say we agree with these demands,” commissioner Margaret Gómez said as the agenda item was introduced. “It needs to bring about a big change in how we approach renters and their roles.”
“I don’t have the money to move”
Property management at the apartment complex in south Austin cited winter storm damage in a notice to residents as the reason they needed to relocate.
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.”
The south Austin residents have previously told KXAN they had nowhere to go and didn’t have enough time to relocate.
That was the sentiment from people who participated in today’s Court.
“I’ve called around to quite a few other apartments, there’s nothing available but one bedrooms or one bedroom two bath, or we can’t afford it,” one of the residents said during the Tuesday meeting. “I don’t have the money to move, that’s all there is to it.”