SBHA works to relocate tenants at Rabbi Shulman Plaza Apartments

NOW: SBHA works to relocate tenants at Rabbi Shulman Plaza Apartments

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- “I am just tired, I am sorry,” says David Wise, Tenant at Rabbi Shulman Plaza Apartments. “I have never been through an emotion like this I have always known where I was going to move to and now I don’t.”

David Wise is still feeling uncertain about his future just weeks after learning he needed to move out of his apartment at Rabbi Shulman Plaza Apartments. Monday, the South Bend Housing Authority unveiled its relocation plans to help affected tenants find new homes. The agency is also shedding light on why action is needed in the first place.

“They said they hope it is going to be at the end of the month. They are not saying get out we are not getting evicted. There is some problems where the heat might go out and if the heat goes out it is going to be a problem,” says Nina Kinsey, Tenant at Rabbi Shulman Plaza Apartments.   

According to the SBHA, the current 628 building needs some serious TLC. The problems are ranging from broken ovens and busted boilers to water infrastructure issues. All of these concerns only get greater with winter. Tia Cauley with SBHA says this is not an eviction of these tenants, rather them leaving, is the only option left to not only fix the building but keep people safe.

“So they are living in public housing, but they will actually be homeless within the unit because with all of that not working, what do you do,” says Tia Cauley, Interim Executive Director for South Bend Housing Authority.

The SBHA is providing the tenants with moving vouchers that are accepted in all 50 states. Currently, the vouchers are waiting for approval from the Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development However, the SBHA is working locally in the meantime with landlords in other public housing locations to allow some tenants to leave before the vouchers are distributed.  Cauley says the SBHA is holding the tenants hands through this difficult process and warns individuals about trusting people who claim to have an open place for them. 

“They are vulnerable anytime you are disabled, wheel chair, walker, they take advantage of that situation we do not want our residents to feel like we don’t care about them nor do we not want to help them, so that is what we shared with the residents so that they know we will go further to give them all of the assistance that they need,” says Cauley.   

As for why the delays? It is all a part of the process.

“There’s a balancing act of protecting tenants, rights so informing them and making sure there are aware of all of their options possible and obviously there is a situation with the building so we would like to have people out of the building as soon as possible because of the conditions,” says Jewell Harris, Jr. Attorney for HLF Harris Law Firm P.C. 

The SBHA also saying both the Mayor’s office and the Common Council have contacted them to ensure that these tenants will not be left homeless. While there are delays, they are wanting to keep everyone safe.  

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