Eastside Tenants Demand Better Living Conditions
This past Saturday, February 4, we had a really successful action at the Woodward Village mobile home community. Close to 40 residents marched to the office, chanting "rights for one, rights for all!"
This neighborhood has been for a while now managed by a property manager that many consider to be repressive. People have been threatened with evictions or deportations, when they have demanded that their rights be respected. Water bills have been in the clouds and many have had to pay high late payment penalties on their rent, when their water payments have been late. Basically, the property manager will not accept rent payments, unless tenants pay their water bills together with the rent. This has caused many to incur unjust late penalties. The roads in the community are in disrepair, causing many to have to pay for car repairs. The streets are dark, on account of a need for more lighting. The majority of tenants have verbal leases with no proof of the terms under which many residents moved in.
On this cold rainy Saturday morning, tenants said that they had enough. Once we arrived at the office, we we saw that the property manager was not there during her regular business hours. So, people put their rent in the mail slot, with a copy of what NC General Statutes say about the separation of rent and water bills, as well as what they say about other fees and penalties according to the law. A letter with the community demands was also left at the office.
Afterward, residents gave testimonials about their own personal situations and various inspiring speeches were given. In the end Woodward Village Community residents committed to not stop fighting until all their issues were resolved, as well as committing to taking on the fight for tenants all over Charlotte.