Elderly Black Women Forced To Leave Home After 3-Year Battle With Texas Transit Department
A long battle with the Texas Department of Transportation (DOT) is causing an elderly Black homeowner to leave her home after 40 years, NBCDFW reports. Dora Overton of Tarrant County received a letter in 2020 from TxDOT—while she was sick in the hospital—about the expansion plan for Interstate 20, which is directly south of her home.
The project was slated to widen I-20 to 10 main lanes from I-820 to US 287, I-820 to eight main lanes from I-20 to Spur 303, and reconstruct the I-20, I-820, and US 287 interchanges. Overton is the last resident to hold out while living in a property seized by Texas DOT.
Overton can’t afford to live in any of the surrounding properties, so she is forced to leave. The 79-year-old grandmother of five says she doesn’t mind moving but doesn’t like how things unfolded. “I’m not opposed to moving, not at all, I see the traffic on I-20 every day, and I know something needs to be done, and I appreciate them wanting to do something; I just don’t appreciate how they did it to me,” Overton said.
With the help of her attorney, who handled Overton’s case for free, she settled, claiming it wasn’t looking good either way. The unnamed lawyer tried to get her more money, but ultimately the amount wouldn’t be enough for her to find a new place. “It’s not giving me a chance to find a location to try and buy what I feel to be comparable to what I got,” she explained about the undisclosed amount.
“There’s no way I can buy a replacement home with what they gave me, no way.”
As the matriarch of her family, Overton says the move is a lot for her grand and great-grandchildren. According to the Dallas Morning News, they are wondering where holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the Fourth of July will be spent moving forward. “I think it’s too much for them,” Overton said.
Temporarily, she plans on staying at a friend’s house.