Potential Home Buyers See Dream Shattered - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Potential Home Buyers See Dream Shattered


With four kids ranging in age from 7 months to 4 years, apartment life just isn't cutting it for Madison and Brianne Hasson.

"There's a lot of us, we're happy together and we'd like to have a place to live permanently," Madison Hasson said.

The Hassons appear to be everything the Houston Housing Authority is looking for. The family of six makes less than
$48,000 a year, and Madison's stint in the Navy qualifies him for a VA loan.

"We have no idea why it didn't go down," The father of 4 said. "Because we were the perfect candidate."

"We're very responsible we don't have a lot of debt and we still can't afford to buy a house," Brianne Hasson said.

The Hassons are just one of many low income families who have unsuccessfully tried to buy a home from the Houston Housing Authority.

"In 20 years of real estate I've never seen anything like it,' real estate broker Stacey Perry said.

Perry has been trying to help folks buy the Housing Authority properties with an average price tag of around $50,000.

Perry said out of six signed contracts, she's handled only one that actually closed, and that person paid cash.

"It took a month for us to get the signed papers back from the Housing Authority so he could actually gain access and get the keys even though he had paid cash a month before," Perry said. "Which I've never seen that before either."

Since last summer the Housing Authority has placed for sale signs on about 200 homes it owns throughout Houston.

Potential buyers like the Hassons said they expected some bureaucratic red tape since the Housing Authority is a tax funded entity.

"I have no doubt in my mind they were going above and beyond ridiculous," Brianne Hasson said.

The Hassons had a signed contract and put down earnest money on a home owned by the Housing Authority last September.

However, the Hasson's said the Housing Authority kept changing the rules.

"He said how are you going to afford this house because we're not going to fix everything on this house which is in the contract in plain English that they're going to fix it," Madison Hasson said.

Potential buyers tell FOX 26 Investigates the Houston Housing Authority would constantly make requirement changes even with verbal and written contracts in place.

"To have a situation where they were just thrown around and jumping through hoops for so long where you knew they must have been really confused, upset and disgusted with the whole process," Perry said.

Dennis Spellman, with the Houston Housing Authority, denies his agency did anything to discourage first time home buyers.

However, Spellman admits the Housing Authority has only closed on seven homes since last July. That's seven out of some 200 homes.

"Yea, Yea it's frustrating isn't it," Spellman said.

But not the Housing Authority's fault. The agency blames the housing market, the Realtors and the potential buyers.

While the Housing Authority blames everyone else, we all lose.

"Everybody loses because of the way first time home buyers are being treated for their future confidence in the system," Perry said. "Taxpayers lose because there's hundreds of houses out there with no one living in them."

Last fall the Hassons sure wanted to live in one of those houses.

"There came a point where it was just too much," Brianne Hasson said.

So the Hasson's just gave up.

They still don't have the American dream of home ownership or their $500 in earnest money the Housing Authority has yet to return.  

-- Read the Houston Housing Authority's Letter to Randy Wallace 

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