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'A lot of peoples hands are just tied' | Dozens of families displaced from hotel

People still living at the hotel say they've been trying to find a new place to live but with high rent prices, they haven't been able to.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Dozens of families at Econo Lodge, near Billy Graham Parkway, are being displace, with nowhere to go.

The property was rezoned by Charlotte City Council and sold to a developer to turn it into workforce apartments, about two months ago.

Now, tenants are being forced to leave, many families unsure what to do next.

People still living at the hotel say they've been trying to find a new place to live but with high rent prices, they haven't been able to.

“Right now, a lot of peoples hands are just tied,” Jeffery Wilson said.

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Tenants say the first notice to leave the hotel by the end of the month came mid-September. The deadline has come and gone, Wilson and many others haven't had any luck finding a new place. 

“All we need in more time, we not trying to stay here, nobody wants to stay here when you got to go," Wilson said. 

Charlotte City Council voted to approve the rezoning in August. Some council members opposed it, stating concern for the people who live there. 

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Housing advocates have the same concern, unsure where these people are supposed to go in such a short time. 

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“Less than 30 days is not enough time for anybody to find housing in Charlotte when everyone knows there’s a housing inventory shortage,” Housing Justice Organizer for Action NC Apryl Lewis said. 

Advocates are working with the families, but say displacement is becoming all too common in the Queen City. 

RELATED: Charlotte City Council committees discuss affordable housing, federal funding in Monday's meeting

“Charlotte is allowing developers to make money off the backs off of working people, who can’t even afford to live in the city they work in,” Lewis said. 

One of those people is Harley Blair.

“I’ve had to work three jobs," Blair said. “They put a notice on our door yesterday saying we were trespassing.” 

But with nowhere to go and three kids, she's hoping for a solution.

Tenants say they haven't had hot water for some time, and are fearful the power will be next. 

WCNC Charlotte reached out to the property owners and haven't yet heard back. 

Contact Lexi Wilson at lwilson@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.  

WCNC Charlotte is part of seven major media companies and other local institutions producing I Can’t Afford to Live Here, a collaborative reporting project focused on solutions to the affordable housing crisis in Charlotte. It is a project of the Charlotte Journalism Collaborative, which is supported by the Local Media Project, an initiative launched by the Solutions Journalism Network with support from the Knight Foundation to strengthen and reinvigorate local media ecosystems. See all of our reporting at charlottejournalism.org.  

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