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Landlord, Annette Cowen, threatens USDA Section 515 renters with higher rents and eviction
by Lynda Carson (tenantsrule [at] yahoo.com)
Tuesday Jan 15th, 2019 3:03 AM
Reportedly, Annette Cowen, a property manager of Lindenwood Apartments, in Alma, Arkansas, and the Hawthorne Apartments, in Prescott, Arkansas, has threatened the renters in a USDA, Section 515 housing program with higher rents, and eviction, because of Trump's government shutdown!
Landlord, Annette Cowen, threatens USDA Section 515 renters with higher rents and eviction

By Lynda Carson - January 15, 2019

As Trump’s government shutdown continues to wreak pain and suffering across the nation, low-income renters in the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), rural development housing programs, are facing threats of major rent increases and eviction. Because of Trump’s government shutdown, the USDA is not able to make housing payments to some of its rural housing programs, until the partial government shutdown is over.

Reportedly, Annette Cowen (licensed broker), a property manager of Lindenwood Apartments, in Alma, Arkansas, and the Hawthorne Apartments, in Prescott, Arkansas, has threatened the renters in a USDA, Section 515 housing program, with higher rents, and eviction. The low-income renters in both housing projects have been served notice that they have until January 20, to come up with the portion of rent that the USDA has failed to pay because of Trump’s government shutdown.

Reportedly, at the Lindenwood Apartments, a January 11 notice signed by Annette Cowen partially states, “Due to the shutdown of the Federal Government your rental assistance portion of your rent is not being paid. Until the government opens again, you are responsible for all of your rent by January 20th or you could be evicted.”

Additionally, reportedly at the Hawthorne Apartments, the renters received the same threatening notice that has the name Annette Cowen on it.

Reportedly, according to the news report, “For 76-year-old Jerald McLelland, such news is worrisome, especially since he is working to pay off a number of other bills.

"This is something that I thought I'd never see happen," McLelland said, referring to the lengthiest government shutdown in U.S. history.

"I think I speak for everybody, I don't know how we're going to make it," McLelland said. "I'll have to call the finance people that my finances my car and see if they will extend my payment and I will have to take that money to pay the rent -- that's the only way I can do it."

Additionally, in the same report it said, “Linda Gandt is disabled and has several medical expenses to take care on a monthly basis.

Without federal rental assistance, Gandt said it's going to be difficult staying inside her two-bedroom apartment.

"I can't afford to pay $600-$700 a month," Gandt said.

"If the shutdown don't come to a stop and people are put back to work and the government start functioning the way it's supposed to, I'm going to have to move out of my apartment. I really don't have anywhere to go unless I stay with one of my kids."

Reportedly, one of the tenants who wants to remain anonymous at the Lindenwood Apartments alleges that the tenants received a second notice saying they do not want anyone to move out, they just want them to be aware of what could happen if the government stays shut.

If this is true, this sounds like malicious harassment on the landlords part, and tenants should file a complaint with the Arkansas Real Estate Commission, in Arkansas.

The Lindenwood Apartments (25 units), and the Hawthorne Apartments (25 units), are subsidized by the Section 15 rural housing program of the USDA. The tenants pay their portion of rent, and the USDA pays the rest of the rent to the landlord.

Both apartments are being managed by ASC Property Management, Inc. A search of the records with the Secretary of State (SOS) in Arkansas for corporations reveal that ASC Property Management, Inc., is in good standing. Records with the SOS involving Annette Cowen also turned up records for a corporation called Star Management, Inc, and a corporation called C & P Developers, LLC.

Reportedly, Annette Cowen manages around 50 apartment complexes, in Arkansas.

According to the USDA, in Arkansas during 2017, there were around 437 projects in the Section 515 and Section 514 housing programs. The renters had an average income of $10,395 annually, or less.

In a January 8, 2019, letter from the Campaign for Housing and Community Development Funding (CHCDF), to some of our nation’s lawmakers, it was revealed that Trump’s government shutdown has resulted in around 1,150 Section 8-Project Based contracts that were not renewed in December of 2018, affecting around 70,000 to 85,000 low-income households.

In the letter from CHCDF, it also stated: “Over a quarter million families in rural communities rely on USDA rental assistance to afford a roof over their head. USDA hasn’t provided any information about housing benefits for January. If the shutdown continues, seniors, people with disabilities, families with children, and other individuals risk facing eviction, or in worst cases, homelessness.

According to a January 14, press release from the National Alliance of Hud Tenants (NAHT), “Trump’s shutdown has already lasted close to a month,” said Geraldine Collins, 63, a disabled, retired medical administrator and President of the NAHT Board who lives in senior housing on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. “If it lasts another month, there will be NO FUNDS to keep 3.4 million low income seniors, people with disabilities and families with children in their homes. We call on the Senate to pass theHUD Appropriations bill NOW to SAVE OUR HOMES!”

“Trump has threatened to make the shutdown last for ‘months or years’ if he doesn’t get his Wall,” commented Deborah Arnold, 54, a minister, community activist and NAHT VP/South from Atlanta, Georgia. “Besides 3.4 million homeless Section 8 tenants, 38 million people who rely on Food Stamps to feed their families will be cut off in March. Trump’s shutdown is a far greater threat to the American people than refugee families at the southern border.”

Adds Eleanor Walden, 87, a long-time civil rights and social justice activist living in senior housing and NAHT Board Secretary in Berkeley, California, “It is outrageous that Trump and his Republican supporters in Congress are holding the nation’s most vulnerable people hostage to a useless and wasteful Wall. Congress should increase funding for immigration judges for asylum seekers and end the shameful humanitarian crisis Trump has created at our southern border.”

Comments Rachel Williams, 63, an Army widow, minister and long-time community activist in Beaumont, Texas and NAHT Board VP/West: “Many Section 8 tenants are veterans who were formerly homeless before they got a Section 8 Voucher. Adding millions to the ranks of destitute and homeless people is deeply cruel and un-American. Homeland security begins with a home!”

Lynda Carson may be reached at tenantsrule [at] yahoo.com

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