Wintershaven Residents Facing Eviction

From the News & Observer...

Nine-year-old Jaleeah Phauls has never known a summer without her grandma, Gwendolyn Ramsey.

The pair are inseparable during the summer months, both staying in the Wintershaven Apartments in downtown Raleigh, within walking distance of the Marbles Kids Museum.

But this year, Ramsey is worried that not knowing where she’ll be living at the end of the summer could keep her granddaughter away.

”My grandbaby called me and she’s supposed to come and her mom is like, ‘Aren’t you supposed to be moving? Where are you going to stay if she comes? I don’t want y’all to be from pillar to post,’” Ramsey said. “That made me feel really bad, and she’s never been a summer without me. We have always been together every summer, and it’s putting a damper on things.”

Ramsey, 59, is one of several Wintershaven Apartment residents searching for a new place to live because their affordable apartments will turn into market rate apartments in August. The complex, 60 rooms at the corner of East and Hargett streets, was purchased last year by an investment group in Austin, Texas.

For years the property has been federally subsidized for low-income residents, including seniors and people with disabilities. Most of the current residents pay about $215 per month for their one-bedroom apartment. They’ve watched in recent months as the units have been upgraded, knowing they won’t be able to afford the new market rooms, with rents ranging from $1,100 to $1,200 each month.

The property management company, Trademark Residential, told the residents they’d have to move out last year. It has been trying to help them find a new place to live ever since.

Part of that work was applying for housing vouchers from the U.S. Housing and Development Department on behalf of the residents. But Trademark isn’t sure when the vouchers will come in or whether they will arrive before the deadline for residents to leave, said Fearna Tyndall, affordable housing manager for Trademark.

”The vouchers are coming directly from HUD, and it’s not something we have control over,” she said. “We applied for the vouchers back in March. The first day that we were eligible to apply for them, I applied for them and sent them the information for the residents who were left.”

She hoped they’d arrive in May to give people 90 to 120 days to find a place, but that hasn’t happened.

”I would have thought they would have come back for now,” she said, adding that the deadline for people to be out of their homes is Aug. 23.

If people are looking and have something available in the next few weeks, Trademark said it would work with them.

”We’re not going to go in and shut the door, obviously, but the anticipated date is the 23rd of August,” she said. ...
— Anna Johnson - N&O
Brent Woodcox