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The Voice of the Black Community

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Local advocacy, help for displaced Lake Arbor Apartments residents
Awareness campaign, new living arrangements
 
Published Wednesday, August 21, 2019 9:07 pm
by Herbert L. White | The Charlotte Post

PHOTO | TROY HULL
Lake Arbor Apartments on Tuckaseegee Road, which has been the subject of 91 resident complaints of code violations over the last two years, is scheduled to shutter by year’s end, leaving residents in 177 units to clear out, starting Aug. 31.

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As Lake Arbor Apartments near its shutter date, advocacy groups are mobilizing to help residents move forward.


The Housing Justice Coalition is launching an awareness campaign to bring attention to the immediate needs of residents in the community on Tuckasegee Road and push local government to boost subsidized housing stock as a matter of social justice.

The property owner, New York-based Broad Management, announced on July 30 it is shutting down the complex and has ordered residents in its 177 occupied apartments to leave by year’s end. Residents in 78 units have been ordered to move by Aug. 31.

Lake Arbor has been the focus of city code inspectors after residents complained of violations of health and safety rules. City of Charlotte Code Enforcement reported 91 complaints over the last two years, ranging from broken air conditioners to mold in apartments. Duke Energy has turned off electricity to some units and the U.S. Postal Service refuses to deliver mail to broken mailboxes.

“It’s our belief, and the belief of many people I’ve spoken to, is what’s happening now is really a form of retaliation,” said Bree Newsome Bass, an organizer with Housing Justice Coalition. “The landlord is now trying to force everyone out by the end of the year.”

Community Link, a nonprofit that helps residents find affordable housing, is conducting assessments with Lake Arbor tenants to help them find new homes.Among the nonprofits helping Lake Arbor residents are Crisis Assistance Ministry, the Salvation Army, the Men’s Shelter of Charlotte and Urban Ministry Center.

Charlotte Family Housing will  also help residents find housing.

HJC, Bass said, is mobilizing a community response by:

• Collecting school supplies and helping students who live at the complex prepare for a new school year – which starts Monday – and adjust to the potential of a new campus through the School Bus Stop Outreach program Aug. 26 from 6-9 a.m.

• Residents and housing rights advocates are organizing to attend the Charlotte City Council meeting on Monday. They plan to address the situation at the Lake Arbor Apartments as an example of growing housing inequity in Charlotte. With Lake Arbor shuttered, almost 300 affordable housing units will be removed from a market that needs an estimated 30,000 units to keep pace with demand.

• Demanding renovation of naturally occurring affordable housing and curbing gentrification in traditionally black neighborhoods near Charlotte’s urban core, which advocates say erases any gains the city could make in building affordable housing stock.

“We feel the situation at Lake Arbor exemplifies everything we’ve been speaking about in terms of displacement,” Bass said. “We recognize the city is taking a number of steps to build new affordable housing but more needs to be done to preserve and make safe the affordable housing that currently exists, because the rate of the new affordable housing is not being built quickly enough to match the rate people are being pushed out of their homes and out of the city.”

Comments

Also, consider the over 700 people experiencing homelessness in addition to our neighbors affected by gentrification, displacement, rising rents and taxes. The city likes to claim progress, but it's giving miillions of dollars to corporations for housing that won't be available for years while hundreds of folks are either already on the streets, or being kicked out of their homes now. Charlotte cannot build its way out of this mess. People need assistance NOW!
Posted on August 26, 2019
 
The city has been getting rid of affordable housing in our community for a long time and allowing slum lords to exist without impunity. I feel bad for there residents because they have very few options. Charlotte needs to be a more inclusive city. The average rent is $1,100 per month. I pray that some solution is found.
Posted on August 23, 2019
 

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