The Quad Cities Tenant Alliance with Quad Cities Interfaith will hold a Town Hall for Housing Justice next Tuesday, Oct. 24th at Zion Lutheran Church, 1216 W. 8th St., Davenport.
The 5:30 p.m. meeting will ask the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to enforce proper inspections and invest dollars to create safe, decent, and affordable rental housing, beginning with the city of Davenport.
For the tenants who lived at 324 Main St. (which partially collapsed May 28, 2023 and killed three people), “the risk of renting was death, injury, and displacement,” according to a QC Interfaith release Tuesday.
“Landlord Andrew Wold’s blatant disregard for the health and safety of his tenants led to the deaths of Brandon Colvin, Ryan Hitchcock, and Daniel Prien, the on-site amputation of Quanishia ‘Peach’ White-Berry’s leg, and the displacement of dozens more,” the release says. “But Wold’s negligence is only the most egregious example of a widespread problem with landlords in the Quad Cities.”
At the Town Hall, experts will show the need for safe, decent, and affordable housing spans the whole QC region. They will share information from the Housing Cluster’s Silos to Solutions report, which finds there is a gap of 6,645 units, QC Interfaith said.
They will also share the findings of the Housing Needs Assessment, which is required by HUD to receive funding. “This report found that the Quad Cities needs low to moderate income housing, rental/multi-family housing development/rehabilitation, and support for homeless housing services,” Tuesday’s release says.
“Yet our local governments spend the majority of HUD grant money on homeownership programs and administrative costs.”
Landlords, including Andrew Wold, receive at least $3.5 million of funding through the city of Davenport – just through Housing Choice Vouchers and Veterans Administration Supportive Housing.
“Meanwhile, the city of Davenport ignores the recommendation of The Housing Needs Assessment, diverting HUD funds from projects that support renters and allowing landlords to neglect their properties,” QC Interfaith said.
“We will share personal testimonies from directly impacted community members that show the urgency of this issue,” the release says, noting Elisha McGowen, a former tenant of Andrew Wold at the condemned Berg Apartments, will speak out at the town hall because she is terrified to rent again.
LaCanna Dixon, a cousin of Brandon Colvin, says: “We have been out here every week at the City Council meetings since the collapse in May. There has been no action. We need federal intervention.”