Onslow County apartment tenants argue wrongful eviction

Onslow County apartment tenants argue wrongful eviction
Published: Mar. 1, 2023 at 7:22 PM EST
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JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - Residents and members of one local government are speaking out against what they feel is the unjust treatment of tenants by a property owner.

Community Investment Group took ownership of Town Center Apartments last year, to fix problems in a number of condemned units throughout the complex.

Residents say the property manager is now serving 30-day eviction notices to anyone who does not agree to pay the increases they requested residents to pay on utilities due to what residents say is several thousand dollars in water and sewer debt to the City of Jacksonville.

The issue became a major topic of discussion last month in Jacksonville’s City Council meeting. In the meeting, city officials disapproved of the actions tenants said C.I.G is pursuing to pay the debt.

“It seems like every time we get comfortable something else comes up or happens. Every time I see that little white truck come by it scares me because I don’t know if my water is gonna get shut off or whether we’re gonna have a roof over our head or not,” said concerned tenant, Scott Haber.

Haber, and his disabled wife, Dotty, rely heavily on Town Center’s income-based housing because of its affordability, a resource that is scarce within city limits.

“Income based on affordable housing means that 30% or less of your income actually goes towards your housing not only to rent or mortgage it means utilities as well and we just don’t have [much of] it unfortunately,” said Councilman Brian Jackson.

WITN reached out to Community Investment Group by phone and email but did not receive a response.

The Onslow County NAACP and Onslow Community Outreach are among a number of community organizations in the county seeking to help tenants dispute their evictions, and provide assistance with relocation.

City officials say they have also contacted Congressman Greg Murphy’s office. They say his office has agreed to assist in finding a solution to the problems surrounding the complex as best they can.