Local News

Goldsboro Families Looking For Homes After Apartments Condemned

Posted December 2, 2005

— Several Goldsboro families are looking for a new place to live.

In October, the city said their homes were not safe, and property owners promised to make changes. But they have since changed their minds.

For resident William Kornegay, it means moving -- but not by choice.

"We live paycheck to paycheck, and that makes it real difficult to just pick up and move at the drop of a hat," said Kornegay.

City inspectors recently condemned the entire apartment complex.

Charles Brown, Kornegay's brother-in-law, said he is not surprised by the actions.

He lives in another apartment and said the complex has been in bad shape for a while.

Brown and Kornegay said complaints about electric, plumbing and other problems were ignored for months.

"Our air conditioner didn't work all summer," Kornegay said.

Soon after the city posted signs, property owners Mike Pate and Calvin Hodgin sent letters to all residents promising to get things up to code.

Mayor Pro Tem Chuck Allen said inspectors warned the owners for more than a year, but the city agreed to give them another 90 days to fix the problems.

Less than two weeks later, the property owners sent another letter to residents, saying that after considering all the circumstances, they had decided to demolish all the apartments.

"I think once he started investigating it, he realized it was in worse shape and he wasn't able to do that," Allen said.

Brown said the situation had built up over time because of neglect.

"When you had over 14 months to get these buildings up to code, that's not an unfortunate situation -- that's neglect," Brown said.

Residents were given 30 days to find a new place to live, but city leaders said they'll work with people who need more time.

"It hurt ... bad timing," Kornegay said. "Christmas is coming."

The property owners refused comment but provided copies of both letters they sent to residents.

The most recent letter promises to refund residents their security deposit and the money paid for October and November's rent.

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