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Apartment Lawsuit Nears End
08.10.2011 - Kaufman Herald - Texas

By Loyd Cook, Kaufman Herald.

A lawsuit filed by residents of the Village of Kaufman apartment complex is nearing settlement, said a representative of the Texas Tenants Union.

“The case is almost settled,” said Sandy Rollins, who works in the Texas Tenants Union’s Dallas office. “Current … tenants of the Village of Kaufman may be eligible to receive payment. For more information, they can contact the Texas Tenants Union or AIMCO.”

AIMCO stand for “Apartment Investment and Management Company.”

According to a legal notice published in The Terrell Tribune today, for tenants to be eligible to receive a payment, they must: have lived in Village of Kaufman sometime between July 1, 2005 and June 30, 2009; complete a claim form and submit a completed claim form to Nick Billings at AIMCO by no later than Oct. 26, 2011.

Claim forms can be obtained from the Texas Tenants Union or AIMCO. The Texas Tenants Union can be contacted at 214-823-2999. AIMCO can be contacted at 303-691-4321.

AIMCO is the owner of the apartment complex.

A Texas Tenant Union official said in a Dec. 12, 2010 Kaufman Herlad article, that it was documented that the Village of Kaufman had the same utility allowances assigned to apartments in its complete as far back as 1997. She said the allowance never changed until 2009 after tenants engaged attorneys to represent them.

The utility allowance during that 12-year period for a one-bedroom apartment was $33 a month. That figure was to account for both the electric and gas bills for which tenants are responsible.

In 2009, after attorneys were retained, HUD adjusted the amount to $75 for the one-bedroom apartments.

A press release on the web site of the lawyers representing the tenants estimates they were overcharged nearly $200,000 due to the inadequate utility allowances.

The Housing Preservation Project represented the Village of Kaufman residents.

According to its website (www.hppinc.org), The Housing Preservation Project (HPP) is a nonprofit public interest advocacy and legal organization whose primary mission is to preserve and expand affordable housing for low income individuals and families.