COLUMBUS, Ga. – One Columbus family is searching for answers after knocking on several doors trying to find a home. Keisha White has spent a couple of stints in Columbus over the past few years. After recently relocating from New York, her latest stint in the Fountain City has her asking why she can’t find a home for her family of five.
“It’s very frustrating living in hotels, motels,” White said. “So we’re back at square one all over again.”
White and her family applied to live at one apartment complex, but she was denied.
“First it was that they needed to fix fixtures on the apartment,” White explained. “Then it turned into, there wasn’t enough income. Then the last straw, was that there were too many people. So it’s one excuse after the other.”
News 3 went to the leasing office at Vista Estates, the apartments where White and her family live once before, but were turned down this time around. The property owner would not speak on camera, but did say the White’s were turned down due to too many people living in one bedroom: two adult brothers and a toddler sister. We also asked the Columbus Apartment Association about that policy.
“[Housing and Urban Development] policy is that you can only have two heartbeats per bedroom,” Jennifer Woolbright, president of the CAA said. “Anyone under the age of 18 months is not considered a heartbeat. They’re still super young. But someone over that age is considered a heartbeat and can only have two per bedroom.”
But despite the explanation, the family still wants answers.
“We were promised something and then it was taken from us,” White’s son Kevin Rowe said.
“I think we all know when families need sheltering, we’ve got to make every space count,” Keisha White said.
However, more bedrooms could weigh on the White family’s finances. So the family presses on in search of a home, even if housing regulations don’t work in their favor. The family is now working with the Columbus Apartment Association to find a new home. For more information on leasing agreements statewide, click here.