WELLSTON, MO - Dozens of Wellston residents told Fox 2 on Wednesday that they are being asked to move out.
They said it comes after hundreds of people living in about 200 units run by the Wellston Housing Authority (WHA) were told that the housing authority is running out of money to properly maintain the low-income properties.
“This is mold all in the basement and on the wall,” said Sharita Phillips, who brought pictures to show what she said is growing mold, a rusted AC unit and standing water in her bathroom with exposed and loosely hanging electrical wires. Phillips lives on Isabella Avenue.
“I`m concerned about the mold because we are inhaling it,” said Phillips, “and it’s making me sick and it’s not a livable condition for us to live like that. When we found out they got their accreditation they started promising us that they were going to come out and take care of the things and they haven`t.”
Phillips was one of several people to attend a closed-door meeting with the housing authority and the Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
Fox 2 spoke with a WHA official who said that we were not allowed into the Wednesday meeting because it was for residents only.
As neighbors left the meeting, they said, they were told that many of the public housing properties will have to be torn down.
They also said that some people are being offered vouchers to move elsewhere and if they live in a home then they have the option to buy the property.
“What they are saying is that they don’t have the money to rent a crane to go up on the roof to replace the old central units so you’re gonna give me a freakin` fan?” said Kiva Wilson, who lives on Lotus Avenue.
Wilson has lived in Wellston for fifty years. She said she doesn`t want to move, especially when she`s dealing with some health issues but that she has no choice and has to take the voucher option.
“You know, it`s not right to be taking people’s money and you are not accommodating them,” Wilson said.
Other residents said while it may be a daunting task, starting a new life elsewhere would probably be a better option.
“The only thing I plan on getting out of this is, ‘What are you all going to do and when do we leave?’,” asked Jalyne Morris who lives on James A. Harvey Lane, “other than that we will be gone before Thanksgiving,”
“It`s just stressful you know?” said Phillips, “we are trying to live and survive but not getting compensated the way we need to.”
A board meeting where this topic is expected to be discussed will be held at 4:30 pm on Thursday at the housing authority’s office on Cote Brilliante Avenue.