Local News

Raleigh residents say homes were bulldozed without warning

Posted May 2, 2011 10:40 p.m. EDT
Updated May 2, 2011 11:12 p.m. EDT

— Residents of a Raleigh mobile home community that was heavily damaged by a tornado on April 16 are accusing the company that owns Stony Brook North of bulldozing homes without residents' knowledge.

The company, Colorado-based American Residential Communities, maintains that the damaged homes were a safety hazard and needed to be removed, while residents say they weren't given ample warning to collect their belongings before the homes were demolished.

ARC also said that residents were offered help by emergency workers and were given five days to collect their belongings.

At a meeting in a nearby park Monday, residents, most of whom only speak Spanish, threatened to hire attorneys to make sure the bulldozing stops. The Hope Community Church in Raleigh is trying to help them.

"They have been through traumatic stuff. They are dealing with issues and not thinking clearly," said Byron McMillan, a volunteer from the church.

McMillan said two of the 11 families his church adopted had their homes demolished. ARC admits that four homes at Stony Brook North were bulldozed.

In a statement, an ARC spokesperson said that "the decision was made that these homes needed to be removed to protect the general safety and welfare of the community residents and workers."

But McMillan said that residents should have been notified.