Evictions and limited housing leave Brownsville residents with few options

Local News

HARLINGEN, Texas (KVEO) — The United States Department of Treasury announced Americans were served the most evictions all year, and housing experts say there will not be many housing options available for those who get evicted.

In Brownsville, Erica Serna and Roberto Longoria live at Calli Village apartments, but when they asked to pay month-to-month off contract–they were denied and then abruptly evicted.

“She had given us a notice saying that she wanted us off the premises by the end of June 30th, 5 o’clock,” said Serna.

According to the White House Department of Treasury, 290,000 other Americans in June were also served.

However, now Serna and Longoria have to think of a solution fast for their son, Xavier, who has attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and Autism.

“It’s super hard everything is gone, I check online there’s nothing available, not to mention since he has motor-function issues, he’s very clumsy, I can’t get anything with stairs,” said Serna.

Serna and Longoria have lived at the Calli Village apartments for five years, but this past year they were late on rent due to the pandemic.

Though they have paid everything they owed, they cannot sign for another year, and instead of allowing them to pay month-to-month management has evicted them. Now, they worry about where they will go and how their son will adjust.

“For us, if we happen to step away for a minute, and Xavier walks out the door—because he’s ADHD—they will intervene: like ‘go inside mijo’ or ‘hey Eric’ or ‘hey Rob’–you know we all take care of each other,” said Longoria.

Now housing experts’ predictions are happening, more evictions will roll out, but with few alternatives available.

“Anything under $1,300 a month tends to lease out pretty quick—I’ve seen them stay on the market for maybe 1-2 days,” said Edson Carbajal, a real estate agent. “We have more tenants more buyers than we have inventory available.”

Others say that it also has to do with the cost of building, causing apartments to be the go-to for many families looking for affordable housing.

“Builders don’t build entry-level homes anymore, it’s so expensive to build and land is so expensive, so apartments are sort of for so many people the only option,” said Norma Hinojosa, the owner, and broker of ReMax Elite South Texas.

KVEO asked Calli Village apartments for an interview, but they declined.

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