Gilbert Manor families paying more for new housing than expected

By: Chris Thomas Email
By: Chris Thomas Email

News 12 at 6 o'clock, February 21, 2008

AUGUSTA, Ga.---It turns out a move from Gilbert Manor will come at a greater cost than expected. It seems it was never on the Augusta Housing Authority's radar.

63-year-old Willie Bush is settling in to his new housing unit at Olmstead Homes, but he's got a bone to pick with the Augusta Housing Authority. "I feel that they did me wrong. It's not right," he said.

After being forced to leave Gilbert Manor as the Medical College of Georgia expands, Mr. Bush is now facing higher rent. "Nobody has come to talk to me and to tell me why.".

"We wish that Mr. Bush had known. We didn't know. We overlooked this," said Mr. Buddy Oldfield, Director of Resident Services for the Housing Authority.

Mr. Bush and 35 other families will see their rent go up almost 40 percent. "That's wrong for them to jump up that much without explaining and giving me an option to move somewhere else before I move here," said Mr. Bush. He and his former neighbors paid flat rates. Gilbert Manor along with Cherry Tree Crossing have the lowest rate of all 12 public housing developments.

What was once $207 a month in rent is now $284. Mr. Bush's bill this month was $301.

"We're sorry that we didn't recognize that up front," Mr. Oldfield said. "We simply missed it."

And that's not their only mistake. "We may have missed some fees or incorrectly charged people, and we're going back and taking those off."

The Housing Authority says they will work around the clock to get things back in order.

"Ultimately, we hope we can satisfy everyone, but it's sort of like any other organization," Mr. Oldfield said. "You're going to have some people that may not be satisfied, but we're going to try our best to do that."

The director of management for the Augusta Housing Authority tells News 12 she will work with families on a case by case basis. The rates are federally mandated. The Housing Authority is reaching out to local churches and the Salvation Army to see if they would help families with a portion of their rent for the first month.

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  • by Diane Location: Augusta on Feb 22, 2008 at 08:55 AM
    Everything else goes up, why not your rent!!! Where are you going to live for $ cant rent anything for less than $500 so you should feel fortunate. This day and time people are always looking for what the govt. can do for them instead of just paying your own way and quit looking for a hand out. These people on assistance complain more and get more, where is the limit or the cut off!!!!!
  • by ben Location: augusta on Feb 21, 2008 at 07:28 PM
    your getting more help than most of us so quit complaining so much. i thought these places were there for you to get back on your feet not feed off of the system for years. you got kids wearing brand new nike shoes and nice clothes but you can't afford to pay a little more rent. i can see seniors who are on a fixed income, but for younger people there are oppurtunities out there for advancement. i came from nothing and worked my butt of to get everything i have today. nothing was ever given to me. i hate it when people live of of handouts then have the nerve to say negative things to the people who are helping them. you should be thanking them for the oppurunities they have given you
  • by jackie Location: aiken on Feb 21, 2008 at 06:22 PM
    we simply overlooked this yea i bet u did crooks
  • by Jay Location: Augusta on Feb 21, 2008 at 05:44 PM
    Get a job and quit living off the taxpayers. A bunch of adult children that we will always have to take care of!!!
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