Man evicted after applying for rental aid: ‘Just feel like my community let me down’

Daniel Sizemore talks about being evicted from his home in Kettering, Tuesday, June 15, 2021. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF
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Daniel Sizemore talks about being evicted from his home in Kettering, Tuesday, June 15, 2021. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

Daniel Sizemore says he has applied for rental assistance three times in the past year and received no aid. Most recently, he called the hotline for assistance, “211,” and was told someone would be in touch within five days.

Five days later he sat on a chair lined up on the curb with his other furniture in front of his Kettering home. Most of his belongings were packed in a U-Haul or strewn in the yard as the Kettering Municipal Court bailiff pulled up to make sure he had vacated the premises as his eviction order demands.

“I haven’t gotten an email, not a phone call, not anything and this is the third time it’s happened,” Sizemore told the Dayton Daily News.

“I just feel like my community has let me down. The federal government as far as I’m concerned did their job, they put the money out, the states and the municipalities and whoever is the middle man in this is not handling things right because obviously I’m in need and I’ve been in need for quite some time and I’ve not gotten any help.”

ExploreAgencies distributing rent aid in race against evictions

Sizemore, an Army veteran, recently retired on Social Security from Dorothy Lane Market where he worked 17 years as a baker. He said last year because of a drop in demand for grab-and-go bagels during the pandemic, his hours were cut in half.

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.

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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.”

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