MILTON — Richard Lowery lived at Pineywood Apartments with his mother through Section 8, the low-income housing assistance program. However, new owners of the complex do not accept Section 8 thereby forcing Lowery and others to move.
Section 8 is the common name for the Housing Choice Voucher Program, funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which helps low-income families afford housing in the private sector. However, the owner must agree to accept the program.
Pineywood Apartments, located on Pineywood Place was owned for years by Blackwater Housing Corporation then sold to GVA PRO LLC in February for $8,200,000. The complex is currently being managed by the Lynd Corporation headquartered out of San Antonio, Texas.
Lowery said that he is having to move out of the apartments and claims he was not informed by the company that he and his mother were going to be evicted.
“We had to find out from HUD,” Lowery said. “We are having to move to Pace behind Wal-mart because they are the only people we can find still accepting HUD housing.”
Lowery said he has tried to reach out to the company and has not received calls back.
Milton Public Housing confirmed that the apartment complex would no longer be accepting the Section 8 housing but could not give further details.
According to Lynd Corporation's website, the company manages several apartment complexes in Milton and Crestview. According to a search of the Santa Rosa County property appraiser website, GVA PRO also purchased Park Place, Sugarwood, Quinn Bayou, and Boardwalk apartments. They have also purchased property on Dogwood Drive, Pine Blossom Road, and Highway 87.
“They have made it extremely hard for people who are on HUD to stay in Milton,” Lowery said. “I don’t think it’s fair that they are trying to purchase all the apartments in Milton and Crestview,” he said.
GVA PRO and Lynd Corporation did not respond to phone or email requests for comments.