‘Nowhere to go’: Residents being forced out of affordable apartments

GASTONIA, N.C. — Some residents in Gastonia said they fear they will be homeless because the owners of their apartment complex are forcing them out.

Apple Tree Apartments hand-delivered notices Thursday morning to those residents.

Now, the tenants have less than 60 days to leave the apartments on West Fifth Avenue.

Residents moved in before rental rates mushroomed during the pandemic and they are still paying about $550 a month in rent.

The average price for rent in Gastonia is double that, according to RentCafe.com.

“I ain’t got nowhere to go,” said Wanda McGill, a resident.

McGill’s health issues inhibit her mobility, and she lives off a monthly disability check of $820 a month.

Her monthly rent of $520 a month at Apple Tree has not changed in three years.

McGill said she can’t afford the average rent in the city, which is $1,300 a month.

“I guess I’ll go to the Salvation Army, somewhere, I don’t know,” McGill said.

She and 11 tenants were told Thursday morning that they have until Nov. 30 to leave.

The owner sold the property and the new owner said that should be enough time to find a new home.

“I don’t like this,” said tenant Lila Moore. “This is what they gave us today.”

Moore said she couldn’t believe it when she read the eviction notice.

Her mobility is also restricted, and she doesn’t own a car.

“I don’t know where I’m going,” Moore said. “I got nowhere to go. Been here all these years and now I got to go.”

Channel 9′s Ken Lemon called and emailed the contact information listed for the new property owner to ask what they plan to do with the apartments.

He is waiting to hear back.

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