SE Texas Record

Monday, July 15, 2019

Woman says housing conditions were awful

By Annie Cosby | Jan 5, 2015

A Harris County woman is suing over claims she was the victim of common law fraud and exposed to deplorable conditions in a Galveston transitional housing program.

Kellee Irving filed a lawsuit Nov. 4 in Galveston County District Court against Woman's Inc. and Women's Inc., doing business as Beacon Place, citing common law fraud.

According to the complaint, Irving became a tenant of the transitional housing program for victims of domestic violence at Beacon Place in May 2012, which she chose based upon the promise of a fully furnished residence with new furniture, on-site security, therapy services and housing assistance provided by Galveston Housing Authority which would cover all but $25 of the rent.

The complaint states the GHA discontinued its assistance due to the deplorable conditions and deceptive practices at Beacon Place prior to Irving signing the contract but the defendants failed to inform her. Irving also says the furniture provided was old and stained, there was trash and dirt all over the apartment, the bathtubs and toilets were clogged with filth, there was no security and there was a roach infestation.

According to the lawsuit, Irving and other residents were in a January 2013 news story about the awful conditions they were forced to suffer at Beacon Place. The lawsuit states Irving felt trapped because she could not afford to move elsewhere, but in February 2013, the defendants demanded she pay the full rent without the GHA assistance and evicted her when she could not.

Irving says she appealed the eviction Aug. 22, 2013, and the parties reached an agreement that she would surrender the apartment Sept. 1, 2013, and the eviction would be dismissed but that day it was discovered that Beacon Place employees had removed all of Irving's and her family's belongings from the apartment, and she has not been able to recover them since. The defendants are accused of violating the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices - Consumer Protection Act, common law fraud, negligent misrepresentation, negligent hiring, supervision, and/or management and conversion.

Irving seeks more than $7,800 in actual damages, $2,500 for mental anguish, $23,5685 in multiple damages and $10,000 in exemplary damages, plus attorney fees and costs of court.

She is represented by attorney Elizabeth A. Vereen of Lone Star Legal Aid in Galveston.

Galveston County District Court case number: CV-0073054

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