RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Wake County Commissioners are asking the public to help residents of a Garner apartment complex find a new home.
They held a news conference Friday morning at the Wake County Justice Center.
In February, residents of Forest Hills were given notice the apartments would be renovated and the new owners would no longer accept Section 8 housing vouchers.
First they were told to leave by April 1, then that date was pushed back to June 15.
Yolanda Smith is packing up her apartment, but doesn’t know where she’s going.
After just over a year of living at Forest Hills apartments, she’s being forced out by new owners that are renovating and raising the rent.
“It’s frustrating not knowing if you’re going to have shelter, especially if you have kids. I mean even if you don’t have kids, everyone needs shelter,” said Smith.
Smith, a single mom, is now competing with other Forest Hill residents for the dwindling stock of affordable housing in the area.
“It’s kind of hard to maneuver around and look for a place when everyone’s telling you that we’ve got a waiting list and we don’t take vouchers and we don’t have anything open,” said Selena Richardson, another Forest Hills resident looking for a new home.
Wake County Commissioners are getting more involved, asking the community to do the same.
“I feel that a test of a great society is how we treat the least of these in our society,” said Commissioner James West.
They’re also catching on to a problem on the horizon, and are working to avoid another situation like this.
“We now have a Wake County committee and over the next year we’re going to begin to look at ways that we can start to turn the ship,” said Commissioner Sig Hutchinson.
In the meantime, Smith is bracing herself for what could come.
“If I don’t have my own residence I’m going to have to go stay with a family member, or consider trying to get in a homeless shelter. You even have to get on the waiting list to get in a homeless shelter,” said Smith.
If you think you can help these residents out in their search for a new home, you’re asked to call 919-856-5689.
Local leaders are hoping this community will come together to find a solution.