S A House of Their Own

Luz Garcia has lived in public housing with her husband and four children for seven years. She is a wonderful mother, keeps an immaculate home and speaks no English. It was her 14-year-old son who translated the eviction notice that she says she was pressured to sign by housing authority representatives. Her husband had been arrested (the reason the housing authority wanted the family out) and Garcia and her children were suddenly facing homelessness — a grim prospect since the city’s waiting list for public housing is long, and families wait years for openings. While reviewing emergency shelter options, a social worker suggested that legal assistance might be a good idea. Garcia contacted Legal Aid of Central Texas and was assigned to paralegal Linda Paulson. After listening to Garcia’s story, Paulson drafted and sent a rescission of the notice to vacate to the housing authority, which refused the rescission.