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City official speaks out on allegations against nonprofit Changing Faces

Published: Nov. 10, 2021 at 11:16 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Augusta Housing and Community Development is speaking out after we uncovered 19 court filings against the nonprofit Changing Faces.

The lawsuits claim the nonprofit is supposed to help families find homes and get back on their feet financially.

Tenants are supposed to pay their rent to the nonprofit, which is supposed to pay the landlord.

But some tenants have been evicted because Changing Faces has not handed rent payments over to the apartment complexes.

Housing and Community Development officials tell us they are well aware of Changing Faces and said they have worked with them to place families in homes. We’re digging deeper on the relationship between the city and the nonprofit that’s dealing with several allegations from tenants and apartment complexes in Augusta.

“We are familiar with Changing Faces,” said Daniel Evans, community development manager for the city of Augusta Housing and Community Development Department.

The nonprofit is listed in 19 different court documents and allegedly owes more than $40,000 in rent payments to local apartment complexes.

“If the accusations prove true that monies are not being used the way they were intended for, that’s a big concern and you don’t want to see people who are already falling on hard times being taken advantage of and there’s a high level of concern that’s what has happened in some of those cases,” said Evans.

Evans says they started working with Changing Faces right before the pandemic hit.

“We no longer work with that organization,” he said.

The city ended that relationship in early September after tenants say funds were not being used correctly. The city says Changing Faces worked as a vendor and a landlord and didn’t apply for grant money with the department but did receive some federal funding that goes to help tenants. And with Augusta facing an affordable housing crisis, these programs are a necessity in our community.

“It is unfortunate in the instance that we are discussing that this particular organization did not conduct business the way they should have but that’s a separate and distinct concept from the value that type of program does provide to communities like ours,” said Evans.

We’ve reached out to Changing Faces multiple times over the past two weeks asking for an interview to clear up some of these questions we have. They said they’d get back to us but we haven’t heard back. We’ll continue pushing for answers for you guys.

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