HOUSTON (FOX 26) - Talk about a nightmare before Christmas. Some residents in Northeast Houston have been told they have just three days to find a new place to live. “Where are we going to go?” asks one single mom of three. The seven families who live in the run down apartment complex, where most of the units are abandoned and vandalized, say it isn’t much to call him but it’s all they have. “Right here in this cabinet I don’t open it. it’s actually molded and quite infested with roaches” the residents point out as they show me inside their apartments.
”This is all the mold and where the rain just comes pouring in” explains one woman as she holds her seven month old child.
"We’re living in the gutter but we’re tying to adapt the best way we can. We don’t have another choice” adds another woman.
”There are several holes in the walls and rats throughout the night they’ll run in and out of the holes". New owners informed residents on Sunday they have three days to move out.
“In three days we can’t get a truck together. We can’t find an apartment".
”They came and served me a three day notice to leave right when I was decorating my children’s christmas tree. It took away the (Christmas) spirit"
”We don’t have resources as it is. It’s before Christmas, the holidays. What are we going to do?" Most of the residents stopped paying rent in protest of the deplorable, hazardous conditions including walls full of mold which has them really concerned. “Especially for my children’s health. I go back and forth with them (to the doctor with) ear aches and colds and stuff like that. My seven month old seems to get it the worst".
”We’re calling them with legitimate problems and they’re just plugging their ears".
All of the children and many of the adults coughed and wiped runny noses while we were there because residents say as punishment for non-payment the gas and electricity were shut off.
”We’re bathing in freezing cold water. each one of the babies have colds". Now some are rigging electricity in apartments with no smoke detectors. “I was a nurse and lost my job, then I lost my house and my car. This is all I can afford right now for my children”. Because of unemployment or criminal backgrounds, for some, it's difficult to find housing.
Now new owners are agreeing to allow residents to move out in 30 days. City citations plaster the leasing office window for violations such as “overflowing raw sewage” and “inadequate electricity”. Also, according to the city the complex has never had a Certificate of Occupancy which is required by law.
"I’m just going to leave it in the hands of God and know that I’m going to get through this” one woman tells us.