Tenants in Goldsboro looking for new place to live as building shut down

GOLDSBORO, N.C. – Dozens of people in Goldsboro are scrambling to find a new place to live as inspectors have determined that the Serena Inn Motel is unsafe.

On Tuesday, Goldsboro officials told tenants and management at the Serena that utilities will be cut off Friday at noon.

“I don’t have anywhere else to go, so me and my boyfriend are trying to figure out something because we don’t want to sleep in our car,” said Alisha Atkinson, noting that the motel is the cheapest option in Goldsboro.

But inspectors say that mold and other safety issues make it off limits.

Allen Anderson, Goldsboro’s chief building inspector, said there are electrical problems and fire violations, including a firm alarm system that doesn’t work.

Anderson said inspectors warned management Aug. 10 about the issues and gave them more than the usual 10 days to fix the problems.

“We went back 13 days later and nothing was done,” Anderson said.

He said they could have shut the place down that night but he gave tenants three more days to move. Many say they can’t afford another place.

“I’ve been struggling for the last couple of months with nowhere to go, me and my babies,” Ursula Sanders said adding that she has no choice but to sleep in her car. “I’m going to put my stuff in storage, and I’ve got my son here, him and his girlfriend work here, and I don’t know what they’re going to do.”

The manager told CBS North Carolina that he’ll issue refunds to people who paid through Sept. 1, but his focus right now is getting everybody out.

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