CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- One week and counting, for families who have to move out of their east Charlotte apartment complex to make way for new development.
Residents of Silver Oak Apartments in the 6400 block of Monroe Road were told to leave by January 11th. By Saturday afternoon – with one week left -- most had found a new place to live. But not all.
The apartment’s management had given residents a list of nearby complexes that would offer them deals to make the move easier. Residents also got a list of social service agencies that could help them relocate and budget the costs.
Saturday, as old mattresses and other trash spilled out of and surrounded the complex’s dumpsters, Margaret Joyce sorted out one more box of stuff in her kitchen.
She still hasn’t found a place to move.
“It's been letdown after letdown, to where I'm faced with only nine days to find someone who would accept me and my children,” said Joyce as she stared out over the nearly-empty living room.
Joyce moved to Charlotte from Minnesota in March. She liked her new home so much that she told her brother to bring his family down.
They live with her now too – her, her daughter, her brother, his wife, their four children, and her mom – all nine of them, in that apartment. All nine need a new place in less than a week.
Even though plans have been in the works for a new development since 2011, Joyce said no one told her when she signed her lease, that she’d have to move this soon.
“If I had known that,” said Joyce, “I would have never moved here.”
Calls left with at the management office were not returned Saturday. Efforts to reach the property owner through a third party were not successful.
Joyce said she got a notice just after Thanksgiving.
“Everything happened just after Thanksgiving,” said her sister-in-law, Nashika Haythe. “They didn't even give you a chance to get ready for Christmas. “It's insane.”
Complicating her relocation, she said, is a single felony charge on her record from 20 years ago, when she was 16. She never went to jail, and said she’s has had a clean record since.
But she keeps getting turned down, and every application carries a fee that is depleting her ability to come up with a first and last months’ rent on a new place.
“I've explained the situation to every apartment after 50 dollars wasted, 30 dollars wasted, 45 dollars wasted, 99 dollars for the holding fee,” she said. “It's a sad situation.. it's very sad.”
Monday, she faces a court date for refusing to turn over her keys. It’s a sacrifice she said she gladly made to keep a roof over her family’s head.
She hopes telling it to the judge helps her find a new place to live.