Veterans upset that their apartment leases won't be renewed - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Veterans upset that their apartment leases won't be renewed

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L-R: William Fite and Richard Gray are upset that their apartment community no longer accept the housing assistance they use to pay their rent. Source: WBRC video L-R: William Fite and Richard Gray are upset that their apartment community no longer accept the housing assistance they use to pay their rent. Source: WBRC video
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VESTAVIA HILLS, AL (WBRC) -

They served their country, but now a group of veterans fear they're about to be out on the street.

The men live in the Kreekview Apartments off Columbiana Road and they say yesterday they all received notices on their doors that say their leases aren't being renewed.

They say they weren't given an explanation and they don't have the money to move.

"It's aggravating because I'm, I don't have money to move. I live off $280 a month. That's all I get," William Fite said.

So when Fite got a second notice on his door Wednesday saying his lease wasn't being renewed, he panicked.

"We just don't know why. That's all. We don't know why," Fite said.

Richard Gray received the same notice.

"It's just shocking right now. We've never been a problem and we just don't understand what's happening to us," Gray said.

Fite and Gray are both disabled and unable to work. They're two of about six veterans who live in Kreekview Apartments. They're living there as part of the HUD Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) Program which works to secure housing for eligible veterans.

When we asked Kreekview management about the issue, they said new owners have taken over the property. Those owners, J.H. Berry & Gilbert, say normally Kreekview doesn't accept Section 8 couchers, which is what HUD VASH falls under. But after April 27, they started taking them. Now, they're doing away with that policy.

However, they do have three or four other properties close to Kreekview that the men can move to.

"We'd never kick them out on the street ever. First, you can't legally do that. And we would not do that. We would work with them to make sure they have a home to go to," Hope Watwood with J.H. Berry & Gilbert said.

But Fite and Gray are concerned this could happen again. They say it's the uncertain path many veterans face.

"It's not like we're asking for anything special. We bought and paid for something a long time ago...pre-paid. And all of a sudden we're not getting what we were supposed to," Gray said. 

"I don't want to go through anymore of this. I'm tired. I told them I'd just take my sleeping bag and go to the woods. I ain't got no problem with that. I'll die. At least I'll do it right," Fite said.

If the men choose to move to one of the other properties owned by J.H. Berry & Gilbert, Inc. they will not have to pay a security deposit of application fee. Either way, they must cover moving expenses themselves, which is a concern for some.

FOX6 News spoke with the local VA office who says if the men need assistance they will do what they can to help even if it means covering moving expenses through community assistance. 

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