TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A grandmother and five children who are stuck living in a Clearwater motel room could soon have a new place to live, thanks to the generosity of a News Channel 8 viewer.
When 8 On Your Side interviewed the Pittman family two weeks ago, a tearful Sandra told us that due to recent rent hikes in the Tampa Bay area, she couldn’t find anything she could afford, despite qualifying for Section 8 federal housing assistance and receiving a voucher from HUD to help cover rent.
“It would be good to have something to live in,” her grandson Alonzo said.
“Would it make life easier?” 8 On Your Side Investigator Mahsa Saeidi asked.
“Yes… It would make life easier to live in a place for a while,” Alonzo said.
The family of six is stuck in a one-room motel while they search for an affordable rental, but the search could soon come to an end. After Saeidi exposed the problem, our generous viewers came to the rescue.
Now just one Section 8 inspection stands between the Pittman family and a new home — a four bedroom, two bath house in Plant City, owned by an 8 On Your Side viewer who was moved by Sandra’s story. Per federal guidelines, Section 8 homes must be inspected to make sure they meet HUD’s standards.
Sandra said if the Plant City home passes inspection, she and her grandchildren are excited to move in.
“The kids are looking forward to being here and I think they would enjoy themselves,” Sandra said.
That wasn’t the end of the generosity of 8 On Your Side viewers.
“Here’s some gift cards and donations from two of our viewers,” said Investigator Mahsa Saeidi.
“Thank you,” said Sandra. “Gas cards, Walmart, need that.”
One viewer even donated a thousand dollars to the family of six.
“Wow, that is so nice. I appreciate that so much, I really do,” said Sandra. “Y’all came through.”
As for the inspection, its purpose is to make sure the home is safe and sanitary before move-in. Inspectors are usually employees or contractors of the local public housing agency.
8 On Your Side will continue to follow Sandra’s story.
If you have a tip for Investigator Mahsa Saeidi, send an email to MSaeid@WFLA.com.