Disabled Manchester Veteran Fights Eviction

By Debra Bogstie
|  Tuesday, Nov 19, 2013  |  Updated 5:17 PM EDT
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Richard Brown  is a disabled vet and fighting to keep his apartment

Richard Brown is a disabled vet and fighting to keep his apartment

A disabled veteran is fighting to stay in his apartment after the Manchester Housing Authority served him with an eviction notice.

Richard Brown received the notice to vacate his Case Drive apartment last month from the authority's executive director, Patrick Barder. Brown has been fighting the move ever since.

Both sides attended a hearing on the issue Tuesday morning at the housing authority headquarters on Bluefield Drive. The issue remains unresolved.

"I was absolutely devastated," Brown said. "I've been here nearly eight years in this community. This community's a strong one. We care about each other."

Barder declined to comment on why he's trying to evict Brown. Brown and other residents say it's because Brown is so outspoken and often advocates for better living conditions for tenants who live in public housing.

"He's a help around here. He's not a hindrance. He helps everybody," said Manchester Housing Authority tenant Priscilla Dorsey.

"He has been against Mr. Barder, as many of us have, but [Barder] was waiting for a reason," said Evelyn Babella, another tenant. "That's the way I feel. He was waiting for a reason."

The eviction notice arrived just days after Brown stepped in to stop a fellow tenant's car from being improperly towed.  It also came just days after the authority's board voted not to renew Barder's contract, which expires at the end of the year, according to residents.

Again, Barder declined an interview.

While a search is underway for a new executive director, Brown says he's optimistic a deal to keep him in his unit will be worked out this week.

"We're hopefully moving towards a solution," said Brown.

If no deal is reached, both sides will meet again next week.

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