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The Voice of the Black Community

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Community campaign nets $267K for Lake Arbor residents aid
Initiative adds business, government funds
 
Published Wednesday, September 18, 2019 7:15 am
by Herbert L. White | The Charlotte Post

FILE PHOTO
United Way of Central Carolinas has raised $267,000 in an initiative to support Lake Arbor apartment residents making the transition to new housing.

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United Way of Central Carolinas has raised more than $267,000 to support Lake Arbor apartment residents make the transition to new homes.


Approximately 170 donors pledged their support to United Way’s Critical Need Relief Fund, including a $100,000 contribution from Andrea and Sean Smith of Charlotte, $10,000 from Foundation For The Carolinas, and $10,000 donation from an anonymous donor.  


“This shows the power of collective giving among individuals,” United Way President and CEO Laura Clark said. “When we come together to help our neighbors, everyone benefits because we are creating stronger communities.”


Corporations have also pitched in, with Mooresville-based Lowe’s Companies giving $50,000.


“We are very fortunate to have a business partner like Lowe’s, who understands that in a crisis situation our corporate partners can play a significant role in meeting the community’s needs,” Clark said.


Said Jennifer Weber, Lowe’s executive vice president of human resources: “Lowe’s believes everyone deserves to have access to safe, affordable housing, and we are proud to join with United Way on this critical need. A stable home empowers more children and families to achieve economic mobility, and helping the residents at Lake Arbor is one step toward strengthening our community’s commitment to addressing the serious challenges around affordable housing in our area.”


Lake Arbor’s property owner, New York-based Broad Management, announced on July 30 it is shutting down the complex and ordered residents to leave by year’s end. Residents in 78 units were ordered to move by Aug. 31.

The apartment complex 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 turned off electricity to some units and the U.S. Postal Service refuses to deliver mail to broken mailboxes.

Local governments also made financial commitments to the fund, with the city of Charlotte giving $75,000 while Mecklenburg County provided $850,000 in financial assistance.

“The city is proud to be part of the community collaborative that is assisting Lake Arbor residents," Mayor Vi Lyles said in a statement. "We are working with a sustained focus toward improving economic mobility and creating more affordable housing, so we can reduce the recurrence of similar situations for all of our Charlotte neighbors.”


The county is providing emergency assistance funding, housing vouchers and support services for Lake Arbor families coordinated through partnerships with Community Link and Supportive Housing Communities.

Mecklenburg’s assistance could include relocation assistance drawn from the $1.8 million-dollar Emergency and General Assistance fund to helps low-income families with emergency needs, as well as housing vouchers and support services for families with the greatest financial need.

“Along with our partners, we want to try and avoid these families becoming homeless,” County Manager Dena Diorio said. “If we can help them now, our hope is that it gives them the time they need to find permanent, affordable housing.”

“Our job is to support our partner agencies by giving them the financial resources they need to help people in their time of need. This is what we do at United Way,” Clark said. “Our primary goal is to get help to these families as quickly as possible, so that they can begin the process of rebuilding their lives.”

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