Greenville apartment complexes to terminate Section 8 leases, raise rent for others

Published: Jul. 8, 2022 at 7:23 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - Imagine signing a year lease for an apartment and then finding out you have to be out in a little over a month. That’s the reality for some tenants at two complexes in Greenville.

Some have been told they have to move out by August 31st. Others, that they have to pay hundreds more for rent if they want to stay. Both options are leaving many telling us they feel backed into a corner.

“The new management came, and that’s when my life turned upside down,” explained Arlington West tenant Joyce Little. “I get a phone call on a Friday that we’re no longer gonna honor your lease, and you have to be out by August 31st.”

Little’s lease at Arlington West Apartments in Greenville that she signed in June is being terminated within months of starting because they were told new management is taking over and doesn’t accept Section 8 vouchers.

“I’ve just been reaching out to anybody and everybody, that they can help me figure this out,” explained Little. She said she’s never missed a payment for her one-bedroom apartment. “My rent is always on time.”

Little’s story is not unique. Susan Warner lives at Pecan Grove, which is under the same management company as Arlington West.

“I’m on Section 8, so I have to get out,” explained Warner. “I get a disability check every month, and I don’t have any money to move.”

Sharon Mullins also lives at Pecan Grove. She doesn’t use Section 8 housing and was told she could stay if she agreed to pay hundreds more in rent.

“I’m choosing to stay because I cannot afford to move,” said Mullins.

“Moving is expensive, but when someone gives you a 30-day notice out of the blue and you haven’t prepared for that, then that is completely exacerbated,” explained Tonya Foreman, President and CEO of nonprofit CAREE. She’s trying to help people like these tenants pay for the added costs that come with moving or paying higher rent.

“We have been contacted by several citizens asking for help,” she explained. “The unfortunate thing is that up north like New York, this type of thing is illegal, but in North Carolina, it is not illegal, so their hands are tied.”

We tried contacting the new management company, Wellington Advisors. We left several voicemails and have not heard back. The employees at the office say they can’t comment on the situation. In the meantime, without help, residents may have to choose between paying electric or rent.

“They’ve come in here, and they’ve just uprooted everyone,” said Little.

A lot of people at that complex have already left, some of them have moved to homeless shelters or found other living situations. Foreman said her nonprofit, CAREE, is always looking for people to donate so they can put that money toward the bills these people are struggling to pay.

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