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Some Residents Remain At Charlotte Days Inn Despite Efforts To Close It

Residents and housing activists were at the Days Inn Monday.
David Boraks
Residents and housing activists were at the Days Inn Monday.

Police were back at a Days Inn in Charlotte Monday, a week after the owner tried to evict occupants by shutting off utilities for a day. 

Long-term residents are still living in 16 rooms at the Days Inn on East Woodlawn Road despite the owners' efforts to shut the hotel down. Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers were there Monday as the hotel's general manager and security guards went room to room knocking on doors.

Housing activist Myka Johnson said the manager was trying to get residents to sign restrictive contracts that would limit visitors and confine them to their rooms as part of an effort to get them out. 

“The police were called here by the manager along with their security," Johnson said. "They were here to evict the tenants, but apparently the police told them it was a civil issue and they cannot remove anyone.” 

Residents are being asked to sign the contracts in exchange for new room keys. They must agree not to leave their rooms or have visitors, which could limit the work of several groups that have been helping residents with food, cleaning and plumbing issues. Johnson said a few residents did sign the contracts while others were waiting to talk to their lawyers. 

Many of these residents live at the hotel permanently, in part because they can't get or can't afford other kinds of rental housing. And now many are out of work because of business closings following government stay-at-home orders during the COVID-19 crisis.

The hotel manager told WFAE last week that the owner tried to shut the hotel down after the staff refused to work because of concerns over the coronavirus. He said he can't operate the hotel without help. 

The owners did not return phone calls seeking comment. 

CMPD said Monday the officers were there as part of a routine check.

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David Boraks previously covered climate change and the environment for WFAE. See more at www.wfae.org/climate-news. He also has covered housing and homelessness, energy and the environment, transportation and business.