Family unable to find safe affordable housing, council member weighs in

(Amanda Foster/WBTV)
(Amanda Foster/WBTV)
(Amanda Foster/WBTV)
(Amanda Foster/WBTV)

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A man spoke with WBTV two months ago as he was being evicted because his landlord was renovating, now says things have gotten worse.

He spoke with us again under the condition that we hide his face, as he is fearful of his new living situation.

"John" says he and his family were forced out of their East Charlotte apartment after living there for 10 years. They had always felt safe, but the new home is a different story.

"It just kept getting worse," he says. "To a point where there have been several shootings, and I can't have that around my family."

Less than a week ago, photos John took show where bullets tore through his apartment's wall. He said with a sick wife and a child, they just cannot stay there.

"You're sitting here wondering what's going to happen next," he says. "Where's the next bullet going to come from, it's very unnerving."

John tells WBTV that Crisis Assistance Ministry helped his family financially with the move to the new apartment. Councilwoman Julie Eiselt was even involved, reaching out to help him after seeing the original story back in September.

Wednesday, Eiselt says she is still concerned about John and other Charlotte families who suddenly get evicted, and have nowhere safe to go.

"When you displace somebody that is on the lower end of the income level anyway, it's like a house of cards," she says.

Now that John's new home will not work, he fears the family will be on the street, homeless.

Eiselt says she is desperately trying to figure out how the city can help in situations like theirs.

"You know, how do we mobilize the community to put money into helping the almost homeless, because it's got to be cheaper than stabilizing a homeless person," she says.

John, who works 40 or more hours a week for a salary just over minimum wage, says his family feels left behind.

"Getting the money together to leave, where am I going to go, am I going to find a place that's safe that I can afford," he wonders.

Eiselt say she is looking at specific ideas for the city's housing committee to consider, like landlords waiving down payments or deposits for cases like John's. She says this is a sad situation, and an example of Charlotte needing better affordable housing options.

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