East Durham residents face move out deadline

October 31, 2012 2:53:07 PM PDT
Halloween was the deadline for residents of Lincoln Apartments in east Durham to leave their homes.

Renters received eviction notices at the end of September stating financial troubles were forcing the complex to cease operations. But for residents who had only been paying around $450 a month, with water included, finding new accommodations they could afford in just one month's time has been challenging.

Many are still at the complex and say they can't afford to move. They told ABC11 Wednesday they fear they may end up on the street.

"It just seems like everywhere we go, every place I've called it's 'We can't help. We don't have the funds. We don't get our grant till December or next year,'" explained resident Ebonee Wallace.

"On some of the applications that they gave us to find housing, you have to make three times the rent. And when you're living on Social Security, who can make three times the rent?" said resident Doris Pettiford.

So for now, Pettiford and her three grandchildren are staying put until they can find a new place, or are forcibly removed.

Activists who are advocating on behalf of residents estimate there are at least 57 families who have nowhere else to go. That's why they're asking the management company to hold off on serving any eviction notices.

"They asked people to be out by the end of the month and people have been really trying to find a new place, but the underlying problem is that Durham doesn't have enough affordable housing. So we're asking the owners to give residents another month," said community organizer Sendolo Dieminah.

The low income housing complex is run by a private board. The board contracts with Southern Estate Management and Consultants. They said they have not yet initiated a formal eviction process to remove the remaining residents.

To help or offer assistance to residents, check out:

peoplesdurham.wordpress.com

The Lincoln Durham Facebook page

Or call Organizer Senbolo Dieminah at (919) 464-4855

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