Disabled Couple Battles Housing Issue - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

Disabled Couple Battles Housing Issue

by Anum Valliani
NewsWest 9

BIG SPRING - Huey Horton and Sandra Melton were moving to Big Spring from Texarkana. With few housing options available, they say they trusted a 30 year friendship who recommended the couple move into her mother's house on the 800 block of Aylesford Street.

Horton is legally blind and must use a walking stick. Melton, is also disabled and between the two of them, they can't afford much. Which is why they say, when they blindly and painstakingly spent their $500 dollars for a month of rent, they never imagined to find a place in such shoddy shape.

Melton said she felt like they were lied to from the beginning. According to her, the owners downplayed the condition of the house.

Inside the house, there are fixtures propped up by wooden sticks, accessorized with string or just missing altogether. There are also holes in the wall and they say there were cats living unattended inside a closet that made the whole house smell bad. 

Horton said he can barely smell, "so when it hits me, you know it's bad."

When NewsWest 9 tried to speak to the landowner, her daughter defended the leasing decision. 

She insisted that nothing was wrong with the house and that they came to her because they needed a place. 

Horton said he had tried to reach the elderly landlord on numerous occasions to work out maintenance issues.

"She just always says that she couldn't get ahold of her maintenance man, every day," he said.

He also added that she seemed to have blocked his number and, "by that time I wasn't going to sign a contract because nothing was getting done." 

According to the couple, the stress has been giving the already prone Horton, seizures twice a day. But the owner's family is skeptical that the house is to blame.

"That house was HUD approved before, so I don't care, I was raised up in that house. And he's blind so how would he know about the house anyway?" the landlord's daughter, said.

Horton believes the house is unfit to live in and wants it to be inspected. He said everyone kept referring him to HUD, who ended up responding by saying they couldn't do the inspection. But that's because the house hasn't been on their program in more than a year, according to Sharon Fritz, a director at the Big Spring Housing Authority.

That means the last time the house was inspected was also over a year ago.

"That house could have had 10 people living in it since the last time we inspected," Fritz said.

The Big Spring Housing Authority offers people with low-income options with housing choice vouchers. They say the landowners were never actually part of their program but they were associated with it.

NewsWest 9 tried to reach the landowner's son, who's the Power of Attorney, for comment but never received a response. The couple moved out within a few weeks in August. Although they probably won't be getting their money back, they just want to make sure the situation doesn't go ignored and they want to make sure that house is safe for whoever might live in it next. 

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