Housing Horrors Part II

By: Erica Hurtt
By: Erica Hurtt

We told you the story of Clarice Williams, a Rockford mother living a housing horror story.

Williams says toxic mold growing inside the house affected her health, and she worried about exposed wires and plumbing problems.

Landlords always seem to get a bad rap, but for every bad landlord out there, there seems to be a bad tenant, and the bad tenant this story might come as a surprise.

[cg at: 06 Clarice Williams/renter (quick!!!! 4 seconds)]
[cg at: 17 Brad Carlson/landlord]
[cg at: 1:40 Lewis Jordan/director Rockford Housing Authority]

Brad Carlson rented this Rockford apartment to Clarice Williams for about a year and a half. She was recently relocated after informing city officials of poor conditions at the section eight property.

"Did she tell you she had paid rent in three months. That her utilities were shut off for three months?" says Carlson.

Carlson says he tried to keep up with any problems as they came up.

"We went up every time she called to try and fix the problem,” Carlson adds.

But the Rockford Housing Authority relocated Williams and took Carlson’s apartment off its section eight rosters. While her problem appears to be resolved, the nightmare is just beginning for Carlson.

"Lots of bugs, some roaches and it's going to be a lot of fun cleaning that up,” Carlson reports.

When Clarice left the apartment she left a big mess behind.

"There are a couple of shoes, clothing, some beer bottles, half a potty seat. You name it it's probably there,” adds Carlson.

Carlson will have to spend hundreds of dollars to get the place in order, while he loses more rent payments. Needless to say he doesn't feel blessed to have to clean up this mess.

Carlson says, "When a person comes in and trashes a place like this, they can still go to section eight. They can skip on rent for a few months and still use the program."

"There is an expectation that tenants as they move uphold their part of affordable, clean housing,” adds Jordan.

It appears that Williams didn't hold up her end of the
Deal, raising some questions about section eight housing...a program where tax money is used to pay a portion of rent for low income residents.

"While we're nowhere where we want to be, we're committed to moving forward and getting better at what we do,” adds Jordan.

Just last week, the Housing Authority was cited for not properly maintaining one of its own section eight housing complexes. The department will have to spend $100,000 to get the buildings in compliance with federal standards.

The Rockford Housing Authority and Rockford's landlord association offer classes to train landlords in how to manage properties and select the right tenants. So far this year RHA has removed about 70 families.


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