HUD Renegs on Letting Evicted 101-Year-Old Return Home

You may recall the story of Texana Hollis, the 101-year-old Detroit woman who lost her home due to her son's ill-advised borrowing, but was set to reoccupy the property after a groundswell of public support. Now Hollis (pictured above) faces yet another obstacle in returning to her family home of nearly 60 years: The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has deemed the home unsafe for the centenarian, and is unwilling to foot the bill for improvements. The Associated Press has the latest twist in Hollis' housing travails.

DETROIT -- The federal government now says that a 101-year-old Detroit woman whom it promised could move back into her foreclosed home four months ago can't return because the building is unsanitary and unsafe.

Texana Hollis was evicted Sept. 12 and her belongings placed outside the home after her 65-year-old son failed to pay property taxes linked to a reverse mortgage, TheDetroit News reported. Two days later, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development said she could return.

But now, HUD said that it won't let Hollis move back in because of the house's condition. She had lived there about 60 years.

"Here I am, 100 years old, and don't have a home," Hollis said, rounding off her age. "Oh Lord, help me."

Department spokesman Brian Sullivan told The Detroit News that an inspection determined that the house "was completely unsuitable for a person to live in."

"We can't allow someone to live in that (atmosphere) now that we are essentially the owners of the property," Sullivan said. "The home isn't safe; it's not sanitary. It's certainly not suitable for anyone to live in, especially not a 101-year-old mother."

HUD doesn't want to pay to fix up the house, but Sullivan said that the department is seeking other agencies that might help with the work and get Hollis back into her home.

"We're not giving up," Sullivan said. "We're talking with anybody and everybody about solutions to this situation, but the condition of the property is a challenge."

After hearing about her longtime friend's eviction, Pollian Cheeks, 68, offered Hollis a room at her home within a mile of Hollis' house. Hollis, who once taught Cheeks in Sunday school at St. Philip's Lutheran Church, accepted the invitation and has been staying at Cheeks' house in the meantime.

"Polly's just as nice to me as anybody could be. She goes out of her way to help me," Hollis said, holding back tears. "It's just like living at home, but it's not my home."

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