Bill Capo / Action Reporter
NEW ORLEANS -- Leigh Adler has a small complex with four apartments that she rents to low income tenants through the federally subsidized Section 8 program.
But she is furious after fighting HANO, the Housing Authority of New Orleans, for over three months to get them to correct a mistake that cost her thousands of dollars.
"I'm extremely angry," Adler said. "It makes me not trust the system. I have another vacant unit to rent. Do I want to accept another Section 8 recipient from HANO?"
The problem started when one of Leigh's tenants told HANO she was moving out in March, but actually stayed through November. That same month Leigh was shocked when all rent payments suddenly stopped.
"November second or third, when I didn't receive rental payments for any of my units, and when I called, they said, well, you owe HANO thousands and thousands of dollars in rent that you've collected for this tenant that moved out in March. I said, no, the tenant is still living in my property."
She peppered the agency with calls for a month, finally finding a supervisor who agreed to correct the mistake, and repay Leigh the funds the agency withheld.
"I said please if you can in any way get this for me before Christmas, so I can finish up Christmas shopping, as this is kind of putting a dent in my holiday spirit," she said. "I still as of today have not recovered it."
I contacted the Housing Authority, asked them to look into the situation and find a solution, because for Leigh, it's an economic necessity.
And minutes later, Leigh went to HANO headquarters, and left with the reimbursement check in hand.
"I'm amazed, I'm really happy. It's just, I know what it is, it's just finding the right people, the people in the right positions who will help," she said. "It means a lot, yes."