A Griswold man is looking for his own home

Kevin Curtis gets into the car with the help of his daughter Patricia Fairman as he leaves Beechwood Rehabilitation Center on June 12, 2022. Curtis had foot surgery and had been there for 3 weeks. He has lived with his daughter in Griswold since their divorce three years ago and sleeps on the couch. (Sarah Gordon/The Day)

Kevin Curtis watches his daughter’s fiancé Kris Vik take his luggage out of Curtis’ room at Beechwood Rehabilitation Center on June 12, 2022. Curtis had foot surgery and stayed there for 3 weeks. He has lived with his daughter in Griswold since their divorce three years ago and sleeps on the couch. (Sarah Gordon/The Day)

Griswold – Kevin Curtis sleeps on a futon in the living room of the three-bedroom apartment in Jewett City where he lives with his daughter, fiancé and three children.

The 61-year-old is paying a third of the $850-a-month rent check, an arrangement in place since his 2019 divorce. Prior to that, he lived for nine years in a trailer at what was then known as of Country Mobile Estates.

An amputee, Curtis lost his leg in 2016 to an infection exacerbated by diabetes following open-heart surgery the previous year. He said sleeping in the living room was good in one respect because everything he needed was on the same floor.

“Part of the problem is that I have no privacy in the living room,” he said.

What Curtis described as a series of intense personal traumas, including the loss of his leg, his marriage, the death of his mother and stepson, culminated in January when his older brother was shot and killed in the ‘driveway to brother’s house in Norman Road. .

“I’m doing everything I can inside to keep the faith, stay strong, stay positive and keep moving forward,” he said.

Curtis detailed the establishment of housing applications at McCluggage Manor and Ashland Manor, the city’s options for the elderly and disabled whose rents are subsidized by the government. According to the Griswold Housing Authority, the waiting list is around two to three years.

He also reached out to management at the new 72-unit Oak Tree Village resort that opened in Griswold last year. One and two bedroom apartments are reserved for different income brackets ranging from those on very low incomes to those who can afford to pay the market rate.

Developments like Oak Tree Village, which is operated by Massachusetts-based Dakota Partners, differ from the subsidized public housing model commonly understood as Section 8. Public housing and vouchers are aimed at very low-income families as well as to the elderly and disabled.

In subsidized housing, the government covers the difference between what a household can afford to pay in rent and the rent itself. Housing is considered affordable when those who live there pay about 30% of their total income in rent and utilities.

In affordable housing, a private developer—often with financial incentives from the federal, state, and local government—builds apartment buildings with a number of units reserved for at least 30 years so that people with low income can cover the rent.

Oak Tree Village’s income guidelines state that a tenant must earn at least 2.5 times gross rent plus utilities to qualify. The lowest rent listed is $994 per month for a one-bedroom apartment.

Curtis said he earned $1,179 a month in disability benefits. Factoring in rent, he would need to earn at least $2,485 a month to qualify for the cheapest apartments.

Curtis then asked the rental agent how it could be considered low income housing with minimum requirements like that.

“She said ‘we’re not Section 8,'” he recalled. “Affordable housing, simply ordinary.”

He wondered about such a definition of “affordable”.

“Now with everything going on with the economy with gas prices and food prices skyrocketing, how could someone like me make ends meet,” he said. he declares.

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About Jermaine Chase

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