Heritage Park Community Gets Good News for Christmas!
The ongoing saga within Heritage Park, formerly "Sandalwood," is far from a Christmas miracle. Residents have been dealing, for years, with security issues, plumbing problems and a host of other wide-ranging concerns. However, on Wednesday, December 19th, just in time for Christmas, residents, owners, management and city representatives met to discuss those issues and talk about some good news...
The issues Heritage Park faces are nothing new to East Charlotte, or any major city. The Ghosts of Landlords Past linger on in the deferred maintenance work left undone: roofs in disrepair, pest infestations, plumbing that barely meets code, carpets that are little better than mulch. You can walk into low-income apartment complexes all over the country and see the same issues, played out over and over.
Heritage Park, however, is somewhat different. Residents have banded together to bring their concerns collectively, to the attention of management and ownership. And it's no miracle that the old, unresponsive, dismissive management has been replaced by a new group, more responsive to the needs of those who live there. Present ownership is working well with residents, meeting regularly to update them on ongoing repairs and to get their input into what is a continuing concern.
Councilman John Autry, Representative for District 5, met with residents earlier in the year and, after a tour of the premises has been working tirelessly to bring as many resources as possible to bear. City Code Enforcement officials as well as City Community Engagement specialists were on hand at a meeting last night to shed light on opportunities and resources available from the city.
The real news, however, came from Torian Priestly himself, a representative of the owner, who disclosed that their firm was in the process of securing a $500,000 grant for renovations on the property. These repairs will not happen in time for Christmas, but the news is greatly appreciated by all involved, especially the residents. That money should be ready to go by early February, according to Priestly, and then further interior repairs will get underway.
Like I said, this isn't a Christmas miracle--it took the dedication and effort of dozens of people, both in the community and at the ownership, management and city levels to make it happen. In this crazy world, miracles are hard to come by. But, if we're talking about good news and hope for the future, this news is close to the mark.
From all of us here at Action NC, have a safe and happy holiday season!