GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – A Greenville woman is facing homelessness at the holidays because her apartment wouldn’t fix a leak in her ceiling.
Because of that unrepaired leak, the apartment failed an inspection done by outside contractors hired by The Greenville Housing Authority.
“I felt some water hit me upside my head, and I looked up, and there was a little dab of water coming from the ceiling,” said Wanta Taylor who lives in an affordable housing unit at the Mulberry Court Apartments.
GHA partners with 900 landlords in the county. They urge landlords to work with their tenants because they don’t want to displace anybody.
Taylor says she reported the leak the day it happened almost three months ago.
“I’m on a set income, with a disability, and social security,” Taylor said.
So, it was a big problem when she found out her apartment failed inspection, and she was given a voucher to move.
“Whenever landlords do not make the repairs within the time frame, and we usually give landlords about 75 days at the minimum… But when that doesn’t happen, we’re required by our program requirements to issue the tenant a voucher and have the tenant find another unit that is suitable,” said Greenville Housing Authority Executive Director, Ivory Mathews.
Once an apartment fails an inspection, GHA gives the landlord a notice and 30 days to fix the problem. Then, they follow up with another inspection. If it’s not fixed by then, the landlords get another 30 days before they issue a voucher to the tenant.
Taylor was told she had to be out of her current apartment by the end of January. She says applications to new apartments cost money that she doesn’t have, and she doesn’t have a car to drive to apply for the places listed on the voucher.
The property told 7News the leak was caused by an HVC pipe.
The GHA did reach out to the property owner, and Mathews says she was assured that the problem would be fixed.
“We want to make sure we communicate effectively with the landlords to keep residents in place, especially with the crisis of affordable housing in our community,” Mathews said.
Mathews says the landlord has to give GHA a letter outlining a specific time frame for the repairs to be made. Only then can they restart the clock and keep Taylor in her home. Mathews says the property owner told her she would have the letter by today, but when 7News checked around 5 p.m. Monday, she had not received it.
“I’m just here with these boxes, these newspapers and stuff because it could have been avoided,” Taylor said.
The GHA says if landlords are responsible for repairs, they can always ask for extensions to fix the problem to make sure tenants and families can stay in their homes.
The GHA says they give around $18 million dollars to landlords who house around 3000 of their tenants. However, they have a wait list of around 9000 families.