It is getting more difficult every day to find affordable housing that meets HUD requirements that housing is decent, safe and sanitary. I have been a HUD certified housing inspector for 6 years. It has always been a struggle to find landlords that are willing to work with HUD assisted housing programs. Every week as I go out and do housing inspections the units are becoming less affordable and more despicable. In the last month I have inspected houses that have holes in the walls(that go through to the outside). I have inspected dwellings with lots of roaches crawling on the walls and coming out of the door frames when you open the doors. I have seen houses that the walls are just drywall with no paint on them, and the corner bead showing even without being mudded. I have seen units with wires bulging and the light fixture hanging from the ceiling. It appalls me that I have to tell the landlords that these things need to be fixed. Sometimes they even huff and puff at me about it. One recent inspection that I did had 13 things wrong with it. The landlord said he wouldn’t fix it. The sad thing is that someone else who doesn’t have our help will rent that unit as is and have to live in a place barely meant for habitation. There have been units with outlet boxed hung on the outside of the wall and holes in the wooden front porch big enough for your leg to fall into if you aren’t watching. The cost of renting these dwellings just keeps going up and isn’t affordable to someone with a minimum wage job working 40 hours a week. Most of these places have little to no insulation and the utility bills will bankrupt the renter. Last winter I know of someone who rented had a small two bedroom house and one month’s Vectren bill was $600. They were careful with their utilities. They kept their thermostat down and watched their electric by shutting off lights and such. A lot of our clients at Aurora have had a rough go of it, and may not have a clean history of renting. When this is the case the struggle to find decent, safe and sanitary housing can be impossible. The only landlords that will take them are the ones who want them to rent units as they are, and then won’t fix things that break after they move into the unit. I wonder how a landlord can rent a place to someone else that they themselves would not be willing to live. I know for me and my family having a nice safe and sanitary place to come home to is everything. After a hard day’s work or day of school there is nothing like coming home and relaxing in our home that is warm in the winter and cool in the summer. It is also important that our home is energy efficient. We know that are home is well insulated so that we can afford to pay our utility bills. The people that we help at Aurora are the same as you and me. They deserve a place that they can afford and that is a place of refuge and relaxation. Every day it is getting harder and harder to find decent landlords willing to work with HUD assisted programs.
Patty Pyle joined Aurora, Inc. in November of 2008. She is the Housing Specialist for Aurora, and performs all housing inspections. She is the Coordinator of the Shelter Plus Care program. She also coordinates the Bridges Out of Poverty trainings. Patty is in charge of the compliance piece for Vision 1505, and handles the housing broker paperwork for the Housing Support Team program.
She completed the Housing Quality Standards training for HUD (Housing and Urban Development) in November 2008, and received her certification as a HUD housing inspector in December 2008. Patty previously worked for Toyota Motor Credit as a loan compliance specialist. Before that she worked for AJY Property Management Company. She was an off-site property manager for ten apartment complexes that were HUD subsidized. Patty performed all compliance pieces required by HUD and managed the ten property managers on site.
She served as a leader on her previous church’s Food Outreach Ministry for five years.