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Providence Village HOA kicking out Section 8 renters

The HOA reportedly revealed that fines would be levied as soon as 30 days if renters were not relocated out of Providence Village or paying for their lease.

DENTON COUNTY, Texas — Editor's note: This story has been updated with a statement from the Denton Housing Authority.

Dozens of families in a small town just east of Denton, Texas are looking at having no place to call home soon.

Revisha Threat became a Providence Village resident about a year ago. She relocated to Texas after learning it was a great place to raise a family.

"I sit in my living room and cry because I just don't know what to do," she said

That's because, like some of her neighbors, Revisha fears being homeless. The rules just changed in their Providence Village subdivision

Revisha learned HOA officials voted to no longer allow Section 8 renters, a government subsidized rental assistance program. She believes it stems from neighbors not wanting renters, saying some of those neighbors have even sent death threats to her family.

"It's gotten a little dangerous to the point where I can't let my kids go to the pool or go anywhere outside of the home because of all the threats I've received," Revisha Threat said.

Some Section 8 renters and their landlord thought the new rule wouldn't affect them. When talk about the proposed changes started, some property investors and landlords attended a Q&A session and walked away believing they would be grandfathered in as Section 8 landlords.

The HOA reportedly revealed later those fines would be levied as soon as 30 days if the Section 8 renters were not relocated out of Providence Village or paying for their lease. 

HOA language also added property investors would be limited to owning only one single home.

Yvette Townsend already had relocation plans, but now she must move. She moved into Providence Village last December.

"I'm on Section 8 because I have a brain condition. I can't work because my hair fills with fluid," said Yvette Townsend, "So if I didn't have the brain condition, I will be working, and I wouldn't be on Section 8."

Real estate investor Judy Rooker rents out 10 homes in the neighborhood. She can't afford the HOA fines at $300 a week for having Section 8 tenants.

Rooker is not just a property owner who rents to just anyone. She takes the time to get to know the families and develop a professional relationship with them. She explained she has had more issues with Non-Section 8 renters than those who do receive government rent assistance.

"On June the 6th, they gave us the new rules and then they said all that stuff, you know, everybody can only have one rental house and then all this section is banned," Rooker said.

Rooker and her team are already consulting with attorneys to see if the HOA has violated not only her rights as a business owner, but more importantly, the rights of her tenants. 

Rooker owns more than 50 properties altogether across the Dallas-Fort Worth area and this is the first time she's been forced to tell good tenants that they have to leave.

The same goes for landlord Alecia Mackey when it comes to finding families a safe place to call home. She helped Stephen Smith rent a home in Providence Village through Section 8 assistance due to a job-related injury. 

She's heartbroken about telling tenants like Smith that they have to move, especially since relocating to other Section 8 approved housing can take weeks if not months in some cases.

"It hurts tremendously," said Alecia Mackey, "I have three families here in Providence Village, and I'm very close to all of them. I text 'Happy Mother's Day' to the families. We say 'Merry Christmas,' that they're family to me and they're being discriminated against. I don't know why."

Mackey's tenant Stephen Smith fought back tears about being forced to move his family. Despite getting hurt on the job, as a husband and father, he still wants to provide his family with a safe, comfortable place to call home.

"I've been working hard trying to purchase a home. And when this happened to us, we didn't think it was going to be possible, but we were able to get on the program and we were able to meet this nice lady right here," said Smith.

Some of the residents in Providence Village who are unhappy with the new rules plan to voice their concerns at a town hall meeting. They plan to share how the rules will leave them with no place to go due their landlords not being able to afford the hefty fines.

In a news release on Wednesday, the Denton Housing Authority (DHA) said families affected by the changes have been instructed not to move and that families can file a complaint with the U.S. Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO).

The DHA also said it is working with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and FHEO to file a complaint on behalf of all the families affected.

WFAA TV reached out to Providence Village HOA but didn't hear back.

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