Senior citizen getting new residence
Aspen, CO ColoradoASPEN Sheryl Robinson, a 72-year-old woman who has resisted being kicked out of the Aspen Country Inn subsidized housing complex, will be moving after all.But “she won’t be out on the street at all,” local attorney Thomas Fenton Smith, pledged speaking for the Aspen/Pitkin Housing Authority.Smith said he, Housing Director Tom McCabe and Alpine Legal Services attorney Bill Hodges, representing Robinson, met earlier in December to discuss Robinson’s situation.The resulting deal, which Smith characterized as “a verbal agreement,” calls for Robinson to move out of her Country Inn apartment as soon as she can, and into a studio unit in Truscott Place, another authority-managed affordable housing complex. The move is expected to take place “probably sometime in January,” after she has had a chance to look at the two units that are open there and pick one, Smith said.She will have a six-month lease on a place that Smith described as “smaller than what she had” at the Country Inn, but she will pay a lower monthly rent.Smith described the arrangement as a kind of probation, to see if Robinson can live at Truscott without becoming embroiled in the kind of spats that lead to her ouster from the Country Inn. Her conduct at Truscott will be evaluated at the end of six months, and if all is well, Smith said, she will get a regular year-to-year lease.Asked why a similar deal could not be worked out allowing Robinson to remain at the County Inn, McCabe said she had “already created significant ill will” over interaction between Robinson and another tenant at the Country Inn.That, he said, lead to doubts that “she would be able to continue living there with those folks” without further trouble.”We want her to succeed,” McCabe said. “We want her interactions with her neighbors to be nonconfrontational.”He added that he believes Robinson will get along with her neighbors better at Truscott, in part, because she was “frustrated” over the housing authority’s slowness to react to complaints she lodged about other tenants’ misbehavior or violation of the Country Inn’s rules. Some of those complaints, he said, involved tenants keeping dogs in their apartments or running businesses out of their apartments, both of which are prohibited.Robinson, who has been instructed to not talk with reporters about the agreement, learned in late November of her impending ouster, effective Dec. 30, the day her lease was to run out. The housing office has steadfastly refused to call it an “eviction” because it involved the nonrenewal of Robinson’s lease.The reason her lease was not to be renewed, officials said, involved complaints about her behavior from other tenants in the Aspen Country Inn complex, which is just west of the Maroon Creek Bridge along Highway 82.Officials refused to divulge who made the complaints, or exactly what they were complaining about, citing privacy concerns, but hinted at potentially “dangerous” behavior problems. McCabe said that one example of the behavior was that Robinson allegedly had been spotted standing outside another resident’s unit, peering in through a window.Robinson has denied she is a danger to herself or anyone else, and said the issues at the heart of the complaints “were not her fault but were other people’s fault,” Smith said.”We’re trying to be fair-minded,” McCabe said of the agreement, noting that if she behaves, Robinson will be permitted to move to a larger apartment once the six months are up, if one is available. Normally, he said, a tenant in a housing authority apartment must live there for a year or more before being eligible to move into a larger unit.John Colson’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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