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City stops family, neighbors helping widow repair home; cite lack of permits

No building permits suddenly put project on hold

SAN ANTONIO – Family members and friends of Bertha Gil, 70, launched a home repair project over the weekend only to have it shut down Monday morning.

Gil, known to family and friends in her South Side neighborhood as “Miss Bertha”, had lived in her tiny home on King Roger Street for over five decades.

With the walls crumbling and the roof caving in the home had become unlivable forcing Gil to stay with relatives.

“She raised me and she really needs help,” said Linda Gonzales, Gil’s niece. “She’s on fixed income and has no money.”

Edward Costilla, a carpenter, joined family and friends over the weekend as they removed damaged wood and purchased whatever building materials they could afford.

“I’m very skilled in this trade and I just figured I might put the things I know to good help and do a good deed here and help somebody,” Costilla said.

But on Monday morning a city inspector visited the project and explained that they could go no further without a blueprint and proper permits.

“All I can do is just buy what I have to buy but I have no more money to get permits,” Gonzales said.

She said the family is seeking donations and has opened a GoFundMe account in hopes of making Miss Bertha’s house -- a home.


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