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'Collateral damage': Moss Rose Community Center remains closed as KHA sells off assets

Posted at 5:59 PM, Jun 20, 2024

KILLEEN, Texas (KXXV) — Last October, 25 News began reporting several issues surrounding the Killeen Housing Authority and mishandling of HUD funds — mishandling they confirmed to Killeen City Council in December, 2023.

In November, the doors to the Moss Rose Community Center were closed due to a lack of insurance — hard news for long-time volunteer at the center, AnaLuisa Tapia.

”What it meant, was that we were no longer able to provide a meal to that person that doesn’t have a home,” said AnaLuisa Tapia, volunteer at Moss Rose Community Center, District Director for LULAC.

People like Mr. Ron — a homeless man in Killeen who spoke with 25 News when the doors first closed.

”They feed me,” Mr. Ron said in 2023.

“Like on cold nights, I go there when they have that cold shelter — they help me a lot.”

The former Director of the Killeen Housing Authority was indicted in January for allegedly stealing federal funds for Housing and Urban Development.

Now, the Moss Rose Community Center is on a list of assets that KHA must sell to pay that money back.

”This right here is collateral damage because of alleged money that was stolen,” Tapia said.

“This is collateral damage because of that.”

Killeen Housing Authority sent 25 News a statement saying they are working on the sale of assets and quote,

“It is important to note that this task may take some time due to the necessary adherence to the red tape associated with a Public Housing Authority," KHA said.

The Moss Rose Community Center provided help for the homeless, programs for children, and anything else they could help the community with — a community Tapia says is devastated without it.

"We should be celebrating 20 years here and we’re not — we’re not,” Tapia said.

“We had children starting out school and now they done graduated — now they’re in college and should be able to say 'Hey, guess what I did with my life, guess what you did for me'."

KHA says they are working with HUD to properly sell their assets and pay back the money that was stolen.