Outstanding Heritage House utility bills could shut building down

GREENSBORO, N.C. — The rush could soon be on to vacate the Heritage House just a few weeks after a building-wide inspection that turned up more than 800 code violations.

Residents looking to leave the building and find new housing are being told by the Greensboro Housing Commission that units may lose power by July 17 due to an outstanding power bill.

Another concern is water in the building. The City of Greensboro has posted notices making residents aware of a July 30 deadline for the unit’s Housing Authority.

Cutting off either the power or the water would deem the 177-unit building unlivable.

“People would have to move out within 48 hours of when utilities are shut down,” said Beth McKee-Hugher with the Greensboro Housing Commission.

Lenia Hames said she was not aware of the power situation until she reached out to the housing assistance nonprofit.

“If we don’t read the news articles or go to the housing coalition we don’t find out anything,” said Hames.

Hames went to the Housing Commission after seeing the water bill notice posted. She’s frustrated that there’s not more help for those looking to leave.

“I have three children I take care of alone and I work,” said Hames.

She said her biggest obstacle to leaving the building is not having enough money for the deposit on a new rental.

McKee-Hugher said about 15 families have called them for help. They do a needs assessment for each family and help give them contact information for as many places as they can.

McKee-Hugher said there’s still time to work out issues with utilities but said in many cases like this the water and power would have been shut off long ago.

“We’ve been concerned about Heritage House for a long time and we’d been hoping the homeowners association would be able to get things worked out for the building to stay open,” said McKee-Hugher.

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