Jacksonville cancer survivor now fighting to stay in her home

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Annette Williams says her battle with cancer was just as hard as her current battle to stay in her home.

“I’ve got my hands tied. I’m hanging from that tree,” said Annette Williams.

As a cancer survivor, Williams is a high risk during the pandemic. However, she still works as a Lyft driver.

“I was doing pretty good until the pandemic, now, like a pandemic. I may make $100 a week I might, you know, and it goes right back in the gas, trying to eat,” said Williams.

Williams took advantage of the City of Jacksonville and Jacksonville Bar Associations’ rent assistance program. She was approved.

The city reached out to the Shorehouse Apartments in December to pay Williams’ rent on her behalf.

“That email was sent twice,” said Williams.

Williams says the apartment complex has ignored the City’s emails requesting confirmation of how to pay Williams’ rent.

The way the city’s rent assistance program was designed, the money is paid directly to the landlord.

Instead, Williams says the apartment complex served her an eviction notice.

“It’s devastating. It’s depressing because I’m not the only one that’s going through this,” she said. “But I feel like I’m being singled out like, Hey, you know, we’re not going to work with her. We’re not going to do this. You know, this pandemic has made us all this way. But what can we do?”

By federal law under the eviction moratorium that was extended through Jan. 31, the apartment complex is not allowed to evict Williams.

However, there’s nothing stopping them from starting the process and serving notice.

“This is a pandemic. It’s not like we’re not trying. You could see me leaving my apartment, you know, going to my nephew’s house or something or going to the store. That doesn’t mean I’m working. That doesn’t mean I have money. You know, if it wasn’t for state assistance, I wouldn’t even eat,” she said.

Williams says she’s not looking for a handout, she’s asking the apartment complex to accept the grant money she qualified for.

We reached out to Shorehouse apartments. No one in the local office said they could comment on Williams’s case.

News4Jax was told we would receive a response from corporate. As of the posting of this story, we have not heard back.

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