Volunteers protest living conditions as hearing rules Winston-Salem apartment complex owner must take action

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- After a hearing Monday afternoon, the City of Winston-Salem will issue an order for the owner of the Rolling Hills Apartments to take action on 28 of the units. As of Tuesday, the owner will have 15 days to either make repairs or vacate the units and find the tenants somewhere else to go. If the order is not followed, the owner will face a fine. There are additional hearings scheduled to address the remaining units with complaints for later this week.

Meanwhile, community members and residents of the Ferrell Court apartment complex protested the living conditions on New Walkertown Road. Cedric Allen and volunteers with the group, Social Hearts, also handed out bottles of water and food to families.

Allen said after people have dealt with bed bugs, no air conditioning, raw sewage and now reports of an odor coming from their water, he had to reach out.

"It smells like sewer water, you know like sometimes when it rains, it smells like the creek, like that," decribed Carolyn Foster who lives at the complex.

In response, donations poured in by the car load from people like Alisha McMillian. "Me personally, I got kids so I hope somebody would feed my kids if I was in their predicament," McMillian said.

City crews flushed a hydrant on the property and tested water in some of the units. Ritchie Brooks, director of community and business development for Winston-Salem, said they were made aware of the water concerns last week. Brooks said water tests done in two of the units came back clean and did not show any contamination. Brooks said the city is willing to test any unit that may have water concerns.

An on-site manager for the complex declined to comment to FOX8.