Elderly woman, NC DOT at odds over fate of her home

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Annie Hamm's home along Highway 401 is being purchased as part of a widening project (WTVD)

As Annie Hamm sat in a shady area of her backyard, the 85-year-old woman explained the stress she is under right now. She said she received a notice from the state that she has 30 days to vacate the home she's lived in for 35 years.

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The NC DOT says some of the assertions are inaccurate.

"I was so aggravated after this last letter, I had to go to my heart doctor," Hamm said.
She owns a brick home on Highway 401 in Youngsville. The state is pushing to purchase the property for the Rolesville Bypass widening project.

Hamm said she feels like she is being strong-armed to leave the home, where she planned to live out her golden years.

"I don't want to leave here. This is home, this is my home," she said.

Her son, Lee, has been helping in the battle.

"I'm so frustrated with all of it. It's just been going on for so long now. We're being forced out, but at least be fair with us. Just compensation from what they're taking from us," Lee said.

The DOT argues what it is doing is not a hostile takeover. The DOT said it wants to take a portion of her lot to expand the highway from two lanes to four.
The state and Hamm have been negotiating for more than a year on a price. The parties reached agreement upon $225,000 for the parcel, but Hamm has a sticking point -- she wants a check before she signs documents.

Hamm says she needs to clear the land behind her current home and rebuild.

"We can't move without the funding that it's going to take to replace what we have. We don't have that kind of an income," Lee said. "I'm trying to get us a house. I'm trying to do everything I can. I'm trying to meet their regulations and stipulations, I've done everything. I've bent over backwards trying to work them.

"All I'm asking is to be treated fairly from these people. They're evicting an 85-year-old woman from a home that dad bought that she was supposed to live out her life in."

According to the letter, Hamm has to remove all personal belongings by the second week of September.

The DOT says the letter is not an eviction notice and it is still open to negotiations.

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