Baker County woman faces eviction due to lengthy hospitalization

MACCLENNEY, Fla. -- Janice Crawford, 57, is a patient in a medical rehab facility after a hospital stay that began last December.

"I want to stay in my place," said Crawford.

Crawford lives in Baker Manor, a privately owned U.S. HUD subsidized community.

"I've never had a problem," she said. "The rent is paid and I have lived there 12 years."

A few days ago, Crawford received a letter from the property manager telling her that she will have to move if she does not return to her apartment by May 23.

"I'm upset," she said.

The letter stated that if you're absent from your apartment for 60 days or 180 days for medical reasons you have to move. Her 180 days will expire on May 23, 2014.

"It is insane," said Nancy Foss.

Foss is a friend and feels Baker Manor, the landlord, is doing Crawford an injustice.

"I have no idea how they can justify evicting a sick woman," said Foss, "She needs a triple bypass, she is on dialysis and the stress from this is enough to harm her."

So far, the landlord has yet to file an eviction.

"It is cruel," said Foss,"This is not something Baker County would do, we are a family county."

The apartment's business manager Angela Tanner said this is beyond her control.

"I don't want Janice to lose her apartment," said Tanner, "It is HUD's rules and we don't want to lose HUD funding, we have to comply."

Tanner pointed to the section in the HUD handbook.

Jacksonville HUD spokesperson Matt Stewart said "we don't want to pay for units that are vacant."

The occupancy requirements can be found in the handbook 4350.3, paragraph 6-9(B)(2).

Crawford said she will try to move back into her apartment before the May 23 deadline to keep from being forced to move from the place she has called home since 2001.


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