ONLY ON 13: Disabled man says city preventing him from selling home

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Disabled man wanting to sell home now faces issues due to city holdup. (KTRK)

A disabled Houston man whose home has become unsafe to live in says the city was trying to force him to move elsewhere.

"It's awfully hard for me to let go," said property owner, James Templain. He was born and raised in the home located at 2205 Singleton in Houston's Heights community.

The rear of the home has already caved in. There is no roof over large sections. The home is full of Templain's belongings and decades of trash.

Templain says he's battled health issues since the early 1980's and that a car wreck in 2012 left him unable to work. With money scarce he neglected the home. Houston code enforcement teams first recorded violations on the property back in 2014. Templain says the city of Houston told him he had to be out by Friday.

"I don't have any place to go, I would want to go," he said.

According to county records, Templain owes over $90,000 in property taxes and penalties. But he says he can pay that off if he can sell the property, which is located in an area of the Heights where builders have been remodeling and rebuilding. He's got a buyer, but says the title company claimed there were issues with city paperwork that had to be resolved before the sale could be completed.

"They're basically making it hard to do that," said Scott Stubler, who is the potential buyer.

"My God, I don't know what to do," he said. Candidly, he told us he would rather live in this home than on the streets.

City of Houston Mayor's Press Secretary Darian Ward said the city has no plans to demolish the home.

Templain's attorney, Leslie Ginzel, said there was a miscommunication between Templain and the city, and that the city did not realize he was living in the home when it was looking at demolishing the property. Ginzel says the city plans to now provide paperwork necessary to show there's no lien on the property so the sale can be completed. Once the paperwork is provided, Templain says he plans to pay his back taxes and move.
Related Topics:
newshome repairshome improvementdisabilityHouston
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