Family of 8 living in house condemned less than one month after - KXXV Central Texas News Now

Family of 8 living in house condemned less than one month after moving in

(Source: KXXV) (Source: KXXV)

Imagine moving into a house, and less than one month later, waking up to find a red tag on your door. That's exactly what happened to Kendra Betters, her six kids and her boyfriend. 

"One morning I was getting up to go to a job class, and Hector Torres was out here, and the tag was already on the house," Betters said. "It’s not liveable and that’s the main thing she kept saying when she was getting my money – it’s liveable, it’s liveable," 

City of Waco spokesman Larry Holze said a red tag is very bad news for someone living in a home. "When a house is tagged it usually means that house is not safe to inhabit." 

Even though Betters and her family lived in the house for less than 30-days, Mary McDonald, the owner of the property, said she and her family are to blame for the property being unlivable.

"That house, and I’m sorry to say it... that house look like a hurricane done went through [it]," McDonald said. "I mean, it’s ridiculous how a young lady can have a house looking like that."

But Betters said she believes the red tag came from a number of problems that already existed. 

"The plumbing that was a problem that had the mosquitoes real bad, it’s like a little gap in the bathroom where you can see the ground, the water come out brown in the kitchen, it’s rats the size the cats, and the list go on - the list go on," she said. 

Holze said a red tag usually comes from a number of issues. "We base a lot of it not just on the structure but whether or not it is a safety issue to the residents, whether it’s a health hazard because of rodents."

But McDonald said the city only told her of one thing she needed to fix.

"The sewage was backing up and it was going over in to the neighbor’s yard. that’s why the red tag was placed," McDonald said. 

Despite a huge hole still in the yard, McDonald said the plumbing has mostly been fixed. But with the red tag still hanging – Betters and her family are looking for somewhere else to live.

"I can’t stay here. I’m not staying here. I don’t want to stay here. That’s what’s next, I guess – trying to move."

Betters said she plans to move as soon as she can afford to move out. 

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