He could pay his rent for a couple months if he stopped paying his utilities. When he would get a shutoff notice, he would pay his utilities but not his rent. He increasingly fell behind with late fees piling up.
“I was robbing Peter to pay Paul,” he said.
Court records show his housing provider first filed for an eviction in November. The case was suspended because of a moratorium on evictions during the pandemic recommended by the Centers for Disease Control. It was dismissed in May after Sizemore paid some of the back rent and told the landlord he would catch up with government assistance.
Sizemore recently showed a reporter emails between himself and Miami Valley Community Action Partnership about his applications for rent assistance. In December, MVCAP told him he was on a waiting list.
“As we have more applicants than we can service and fund, we cannot accept your rental assistance application into the program at the present time,” the email says. “We will contact you if circumstances change.”
Sizemore applied to MVCAP again in April. He received an email saying: “Due to the high volume of requests for all our agency’s services, response time may be longer than usual.” He said that was the last he heard.
MVCAP declined to comment for this story.
The landlord filed for eviction again in May. This time the court granted the eviction when Sizemore didn’t attend the court hearing. He said he was ill and sent his son, but the court wouldn’t let him testify. Court records note his son is not a lawyer.
Two weeks later, the bailiff and Kettering police looked on as Sizemore and his 37-year-old son made one last trip into the house Sizemore lived in the past seven years.
As Sizemore and his son prepared to leave, the property owner Brian Quinlan pulled up to change the locks. After a brief, heated exchange between Quinlan and Sizemore’s son, the father and son left.
As he changed the locks, Quinlan looked around the garbage and belongings piled around and estimated it will cost $10,000 to bring the property back up to where he can rent it out again, after not making money on it for months.
Quinlan said he has expenses he needs to cover; if the government wants to put a moratorium on evictions, he said, they should also stop collecting property taxes.
“You got to have income,” he said. “That means people got to pay their bills.”