PUEBLO — Jessie Zimmerman thought she had found the perfect rental in Pueblo West for her family, until a few weeks into living in the apartment, she discovered black mold.
"First we noticed the carpet was wet... They discovered mold in the walls and the carpet... and then they set up this lovely containment unit, and that's been about two weeks now."
Zimmerman and her family wanted to relocate from Denver to find a cheaper living situation. She says she looked from Colorado Springs to the Western Slope trying to find a good rental.
“We had gotten here to be settled, and ya know, we had been trying for three and a half months. I finally found this place."
Now, she says her landlord and the Pueblo County Health Department need her to move out by the end of August so that way they can begin repairs. However, Zimmerman says finding a new rental in Pueblo on such a short time frame is virtually impossible.
"I’m just calling around, but so is everybody. And everybody’s got a story and everybody is having a hard time and I mean, they don’t really care about that. The property managers don’t care.”
The Pueblo Housing Authority agrees that the shortage of available rentals is a problem throughout Pueblo. The organization offers vouchers to help low income residents afford rent.
“We actually have about 1,500 vouchers assigned to us by HUD, we’ve only been able to utilize 1,302. That’s because there’s just no place for these folks to find housing in Pueblo," said Frank Pacheco, the Executive Director for the Pueblo Housing Authority.
Right now, Zimmerman says she is going to continue searching everywhere she can for a place to move to.
“I guess if there’s anybody local in Pueblo West area that has a two or three bedroom that would be willing to let us stay there? I mean I have good references, I pay rent, that’s not a problem. I just need a place."
If you think you may be able to help Zimmerman, contact firstname.lastname@example.org .
Several options for living assistance in Pueblo include: