Local News

Rocky Mount apartment tenants: Let there be Christmas lights

Posted November 24, 2009

— Some tenants at a Rocky Mount subsidized-living apartment complex are upset over a new policy preventing them from decorating with outdoor Christmas lights.

Residents at the Mayfair Apartments, 1602 Chicora Court, received a letter recently from management informing them of the new policy. Managers claimed the lights aren’t allowed due to fire safety reasons.

“We were told we could not have outside Christmas lights, nothing that lit up the only thing we could have is a wreath on the door,” resident Lois Brown said.

In previous years, residents were allowed to decorate with outdoor lights.

“I think it’s ridiculous. We've had such a pretty place since I've been out here with everybody decorating,” Brown said.

Tenants, management in dispute at Rocky Mount complex Apartment complex bans outdoor holiday lights

Mayfair Apartments came under fire earlier this year from tenants who claimed they were being bullied by property management, Wellons Foundation Management Services.

Bernice Fuller, 76, said property management sent her an eviction notice in June because she had been feeding a stray cat.

Fuller said she and her neighbors would feed the cat, and one day, they received letter from the apartment management informing them that feeding strays was not allowed.

Soon after, Fuller said, the property manager saw her leaving food for it and sent her an eviction notice.

Property management said Fuller violated the pet regulations by not filing the paper work or paying the required fee for keeping a cat.

Other neighbors have complained that management forced them to rip out all of the flowers in their gardens.

Property managers said it was a misunderstanding and that they only asked that flower boxes and pots be removed from windows and doors under fire regulations imposed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

"We look at the community as a whole, and we have to do what's best for the entire community," Cathy Kennedy, executive director of operations for Wellons Foundation, said in June.

Calls to Wellons Management on Tuesday were not returned.


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  • TimInNC Nov 24, 2009

    annemarek, you really need to get back on your meds. Christians are not the only ones who put up lights.

  • TimInNC Nov 24, 2009

    timothycapwell, for the record private industry also tells you what decorations you can, and more often cannot, put up on your house. Try living in a development with a HOA.

  • squawk08 Nov 24, 2009

    While I support Christmas 100%, these people are not living in homes that they own. They are paying rent to someone else, who owns the property and those owners have the right to say what is put on their buildings.

  • miseem Nov 24, 2009

    This is government subsidized housing, not government owned & run housing. The property is owned by a corporation in Dunn, and they hire a private property management company to handle operations, so by using this as a slam against how government runs things, you have actually presented a good argument against how private business operates. For the others that state these residents should be glad they have a roof over their heads & they should have worked harder (or just worked) earlier, you don't know the situation of any of the residents. I'm sure you can find many of them who worked 40-50 years at low wage jobs, or followed the right wing solution of women staying home to raise the family,therefore having no work history. Unfortunately, Social Security will not cover the cost of living, and at the equivalent of $10/hour when they did work, it's hard to save much. Besides, the level of subsidy varies - some may be paying for most of their costs.Hope you're well set for 70 years old

  • foetine Nov 24, 2009

    shame God doesn't love them as much as you with your roof. Maybe baby Jesus will let them find a winning Powerball ticket so they won't ever have to worry again.

    These old people need to understand that there are consequences to not earning your keep in a free market. They think they live in a Socialist country that needs them after their working days are over?

    If you have so much compassion for this old woman who didn't buy a real house - why not have her move into your house so she can have her Christmas lights and stray cats. Where's your spirit of Christmas?

  • cjimmyray414 Nov 24, 2009


  • meh2 Nov 24, 2009

    The government is always here to help.

  • dougalu Nov 24, 2009

    President Obama is in charge of all government housing...cry to him

  • atozca Nov 24, 2009

    wow, foetine, it burdens my heart when I read how you and some others really think..."they should have done better during their working years." They may have paid in more to the system than you ever will and we don't know why they ended up needing to be subsidized. My family and I have lost just about everything we had saved and owned in the last year and a half. It is by the grace of God that I still have a roof over my head today. One never knows what life is going to deliver. You can be rich today and poor tomorrow.

  • itsnews2me Nov 24, 2009

    re: "They're in government subsidized housing. If they want to pay to live somewhere they can put up their own holiday lights, plant their own flowers and keep pets, then move and do so."

    What, you mean to an "upscale" community where they can then deal with the HOA instead of the apartment mgmt.? Not much of a change in my opinion.