Thursday, March 10, 2005
That's Just Wrong: Elderly Eviction
Whether you're going across the street or across the country, moving is never easy. When you're an elderly woman being forced to leave, packing up can be painful. But when the government refuses to help because of an error on your eviction notice...Well, that's just wrong.
WSVN -- 70-year-old Martha Mallory has called this house in Miami -- home sweet home --for almost the last 30 years.
Martha Mallory: "It's been a fine place to live because I like the privacy that's why I moved here."
At first, she paid rent, but then became the property's caretaker.
Last year, the owner sold the property, which includes this commercial building and the house Martha lives in. Then in November, Martha received an eviction notice.
TheProblem is: The name and address on the paperwork doesn't match her name or the address where she lives. So when she went to try to get government help for the move, she wasn't eligible.
Martha Mallory: "They said well can't do anything about it with this, it's not your address."
Turns out, the address on the eviction notice is actually the address of the commercial building.
Martha Mallory: "I tried to call the lawyer whose name is on the paper and we got no response from him, even now."
She also repeatedly tried calling her landlord. But without her name and address on the notice, Martha can't receive the money she says she needs to move.
Martha Mallory: "I was treated wrong. I don't have anyone to help me, and that's a sad situation when you don't have help."
A spokesperson for the landlord told us he would send a corrected eviction notice.
But it may not be necessary. After 7 News contacted Miami-Dade's department of human services, they agreed to fix Martha's paperwork with or without the proper paperwork.
Rachel Tourgeman: "We know she's in dire need of help. Regardless of the fact that it doesn't have her name or her address, it doesn't really matter, we're going to try to help her out."
And Martha has been given the paperwork she needs to relocate.
In fact, she's already packed most of her belongings. Now, she just hopes she has enough money to find another place to call home sweet home.
Martha Mallory: "I'll miss it but I'm ready, I'm ready, I'm really ready because I'm 70 years old."
Once she fills out the paperwork, Martha will receive $360 dollars from the county to help her move.
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Here is some information on if you're being evicted and want to know if you qualify for help:
Miami-Dade Department Of Human Services
Miami-Dade Housing Agency
Broward County Housing Authority