Eviction rule set forth by Housing Authority - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Eviction rule set forth by Housing Authority

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For the nearly 150 families in the Upward Mobility program, living in public housing has become a way of life.

Jacqueline Allen has been happy living in one of the newest apartment complexes for the past few years. But, according to a recent housing authority decision, some people living in the most modern properties face eviction if they don't get back to work or school soon.

"I think everybody should work if they can," says Allen. "There should be some kind of thing that you should get into to make yourself available for work or something," says Allen.

Allen is exempt because, just before moving into public housing, she became injured after her house caught fire and was destroyed.

"I'm disabled and I'm handicapped. I'm oxygen-dependent," explains Allen.

She's happy an affordable home was available.

For those who aren't disabled, beginning in March they have 90 days to enroll in school or job training, find work, or volunteer. Whichever one they choose, they have go to class, work, or volunteer at least 30 hours a week. Case managers help with the process.

According to the Chattanooga Housing Authority, if people didn't comply in the past they simply would be moved to an older property. The housing authority says this often took a long time because of vacancy availability, so families who work every day would see the family next to them doing nothing.

Allen says she would go back to work if she could and agrees with the housing authority's ruling.

"I think everybody needs to be productive and doing something," adds Allen.

Even if they choose to go to school or volunteer.

"At least they're doing something. I think that's fine. I think that a great thing to do," says Allen.

While Allen would hate to see anyone end up in the streets, she doesn't have a problem with the threat of eviction. She says if people don't take advantage of the chance and assistance to succeed through the program, she understands the housing authority's point of view.

"There's a penalty to pay when you don't do what you need to do," says Allen. "That's their choice and their option."

Residents age 62 or older are also exempt from begin eviction. The new rule goes into effect March 1, 2016. If residents don't comply within 90 days, they can file for a 30-day extension.

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