“San Diego Flood Victims Evicted from Hotels Prior to Voucher Expiration Due to Miscommunication”

A family of ten, who were displaced from their Mountain View home due to flooding in January, were abruptly checked out of their hotel on Friday afternoon, leaving them without a place to stay. Advocates argue that a miscommunication between the county’s voucher program provider, Equus, and the Ramada Inn in National City led to the sudden eviction of the Meza family.

Juan Meza, one of the flood victims, expressed confusion and frustration over the situation. “The hotel is insisting that today is the day,” he said. His sister, Ivonne Meza, added, “I’m mad because our due date here, our check out day is not till the 11th. Give us a little bit more time.”

The family was informed on Friday afternoon that it was time to check out. Despite their attempts to stay, they were told they had to leave. Consequently, they packed up their belongings from the three rooms they had been occupying on the fifth floor of the Ramada Inn.

“This is going to change everything for us because we got the kids in school, we have to go check-in at the house. This is a good location because it is close to home,” Juan said.

San Diego County had contracted Equus to manage the hotel vouchers for flood victims. However, when NBC 7 tried to contact Equus on Friday afternoon, they received no response.

Ivonne showed NBC 7 a voucher for the Ramada Inn with an expiration date of March 11. County spokesperson Mike Workman stated that the Mezas failed to check into their original rooms on time, leading the Ramada Inn and Equus to accommodate them in three other rooms reserved for other guests starting March 8. Despite the March 11 voucher expiration, the hotel informed the Mezas about the early check-out date.

Around 200 more flood victims at the Ramada Inn have vouchers set to expire on March 11. A notice at the hotel front desk indicates that these vouchers will be extended to March 25, but this is yet to be confirmed by the county.

Flood victim advocate Andrew Banez said that obtaining voucher extensions has been a recurring issue. He has worked with 40 families facing similar problems. Banez criticized the treatment of these families, saying, “A lot of these families are homeowners, renters but they are treated like homeless.”

The county spokesperson assured NBC 7 that this was an exceptional case and that the problem had been resolved. With Banez’s assistance, Equus provided the Mezas with vouchers for three rooms at the Baymont Hotel on Cortez Hill. They have the option to stay there or return to the Ramada next week.

Despite this, the family’s future remains uncertain, and their confidence has been shaken by this experience.

Source: nbcsandiego.com

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