Mother fighting eviction to stay in Harvey flooded apartment


 Her apartment flooded in Harvey, but a Houston mother is refusing to move out.  Emily Diehl says she and her children don't have anywhere else to go and now a judge is involved.   

All of the first floor residents at the Northeast Harris County Apartment complex were asked to move shortly after the building flooded in Harvey, but Diehl says because her apartment is wheelchair accessible, she isn't leaving.  Not even an eviction has been enough to get the Diehl family to go.          

With no carpeting in the apartment and mold growing on the walls most people would be fighting to get out but it's just the opposite for Emily Diehl.

"Because the carpet was left in there for a week wet it grew up the walls.  Mold and mildew grew up the walls," explains Diehl.   

We've seen a number of Houston families left in desperate situations by Harvey and this is no different.  Although the apartment complex has been asking Diehl to move out for three months, she is still there.

The mother of two says to accommodate her daughter's wheelchair they need to live somewhere with doorways at least 36 inches wide.  She blames Harvey for not only damaging her apartment but also for keeping her from finding a new home.  After so many Houstonians were displaced by the storm, she says there is no wheelchair accessible housing available.

"Occasionally we find them where she can get in the front door or the back door.  Then she can't go to the bathroom or get in a bedroom," says Diehl.  

An attorney for the apartment complex told Civil Court Judge George Barnstone that Diehl wouldn't have to pay for the last three months she's lived here, the company would give her full deposit back and an extra $500 if she would just move out of what the company calls dangerous living conditions but Diehl would not agree. 

"Our options are to live in our car.  We don't have any where else to go".              

The judge told the apartment complex to allow Diehl to stay and have her sign a waiver releasing the company from any liability, but the judge is also assigning a court representative because Diehl's son is a minor, 17 years old. That court appointed representative will decide if it's safe for the teen to live there.

Diehl will face off with the apartment complex again before Judge Barnstone in one week.

Up Next:

  • Popular

  • Recent

More from FOX 26 Houston