Charlotte apartments withdrawing from Section 8

CHARLOTTE — People living at an affordable housing complex in west Charlotte will see some changes. Inlivian, who owns the complex, is withdrawing from the Section 8 program.

More than 200 families call the Little Rock Apartments home. Channel 9′s Glenn Counts spoke with some of the families who live there.

“I’ve been here for 14 years; in two apartments, I raised two children here,” said resident Patryce Smith.

Last week, Smith, along with other residents, received a letter from Inlivian saying they intended to get out of the Section 8 program.

Instead, Inlivian is moving to a new program that, they say, allows for flexibility.

But most residents expect Section 8 to continue one way or another. There is a work requirement that resident Konisha Byrd believes she will meet.

“They tell us they are going to help us if you fall under certain guidelines; they might not help you, so we really don’t have any idea,” Byrd elaborated.

The notice residents were given said they had a year before any changes took effect.

Inlivian says the new program will allow more supportive services with the goal of preventing homelessness, and they can’t do all of that under their current program. Inlivian says the change will be a good thing for residents and help Inlivian address economic mobility.

“We want to relieve all of our residents of any concerns they have; they will not have to move,” said Cheron Porter with Inlivian.

Porter said the letter indicated that Inlivian is canceling Section 8 at Little Rock. And while true, she said the program isn’t going away; it’s just evolving with a new voucher system.

“One, they will have the opportunity to move whenever they want if they want to, but should they choose to stay here at Little Rock, they will be exposed to more resources that will help them and their family,” Porter explained.

Smith said she is not able to work due to a car accident and is trying to get a disability, but she’s concerned she might slip through the cracks and end up homeless.

“I don’t know what I’m going to do. I have grown children, and I don’t want to live with them. I should be on my own, but this is just out of the blue. I don’t know what we are going to do,” Smith explained.

Porter addressed Smith’s concerns, saying, “If there is a resident who can prove they are unable to work through their doctor, certainly accommodations can be made.”

She acknowledged that the letter Invilian sent to residents could have been worded better.

“The letter left a lot of room for interpretation. I think our intent was to answer a lot of questions in person since we couldn’t do it in the letter. But I think we’ll do a better job communicating,” Porter elaborated.

Porter urges all residents who have questions to come to the community meeting that will be held next Thursday. It is expected to take place at 4 p.m.

Editor’s note: A previous version of this story said residents faced uncertainty over their living situation. Inlivian contacted Channel 9 after our story aired and clarified that nobody is being forced out and no funding is being pulled.

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