Residents of the Lake Arbor Apartments in west Charlotte pleaded with City Council on Monday night for help in finding a new place to live. The owners of the 300-unit complex have said all residents must leave so they can renovate the units.
Residents of Lake Abor have complained that the low-income apartments are in need of repair, with broken air conditioning, mold, roaches and sewage backups. Dorethea Johnson lives in the complex. She told council members the city needs to do more to help them find new apartments.
“They come and tell me Aug. 2, 'You got to be out of here by Aug. 31,'" Johnson said. "So, how many of these people have to be displaced? Y’all talking about affordable housing? What affordable housing? Most of these people are on welfare, most of these people are on disability. If it wasn’t for me and two of my grandkids, we wouldn’t have a place to stay. We’d be on the streets.”
The city said nonprofits are trying to help the Lake Arbor residents. Pam Wideman, the city’s housing director, said 72 residents have met with the nonprofits, and she said the city will continue to enforce its housing code to make sure the units are habitable.
Just last week, an assessment by social service agencies found Lake Arbor tenants need about $350,000 to cover temporary housing and other relocation expenses.