CHARLOTTE – Dozens of people who’ve been living in the south Charlotte’s Sterling community for years say they’re now scrambling to find a new place to live.
Residents said last week that a new company had bought the property and has asked them to move immediately.
On Monday night, leaders with the China Grove AME Zion Church met with about 100 people from the community to help address the issue.
The Rev. David Scott Cunningham, who has church members who must move out soon, is offering his church as a resource for those residents.
“One of the residents told me that she is already resolved in her mind that she’s going to live in her car,” Cunningham said. “That breaks my heart.”
Keesha White is one of several residents who received a notice to vacate last week.
“I have deep respect for the property owners,” White said. “The previous and the new one. I respect their efforts to improve the neighborhood and the community. I just am not in agreement with the way they are going about it. ”
The letter from River Investments Properties NC states that residents have two options, one of which is to move out in 28 days.
The other option proposed in the letter says the first five residents who sign the paperwork and move out by this Thursday could potentially get some of their money back.
The letter states the property is under new management.
“The minimum under state law is seven days,” said housing attorney Isaac Sturgill, on the legal notice required in North Carolina. “Most leases, it’s 30 days.”
Community partners are offering help on a case-by-case basis. They are connecting people with legal services through Legal Aid, financial assistance for a new home, and helping to find an affordable place to live.
“If anyone feels like the issue is not theirs because they are not directly affected, then just wait a little while because this issue could be living next to you,” Cunningham said.
If the new property owner or anyone associated with it was in attendance, they didn’t identify themselves.
There were still a lot of unanswered questions about the future of the community.
Numerous Mecklenburg County commissioners attended the meeting and are vowing to get to the bottom of it.
“This didn’t happen last night and it shouldn’t have happened this morning,” said Commissioner Vilma Leake, D-District 2.
Many people in our community are stepping up to help the residents of Sterling as well. ”
Morningstar Storage in uptown is offering a 50% discount and Our Lord and Savior Automotive is offering car repairs.
There will be a representative of Dreamkey Partners at the church on Friday morning to help people apply for funds to use for housing. Other nonprofits are assisting with locating housing, furniture and food.
(WATCH PREVIOUS BELOW: New information on company forcing residents to vacate homes)
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