GREENSBORO, N.C. — Every family wants a roof over their head, but the cost of housing can limit options for people.
The Greensboro Housing Coalition spends every day fielding phone calls from people on a fixed budget reporting problems with landlords, family emergencies keeping them from paying rent or hearing about properties that city inspectors are preparing to condemn.
That often leads to evictions.
“We recognize that a lot of people who are very vulnerable might end up homeless,” said Brett Byerly, executive director of the Greensboro Housing Coalition.
On May 12, 2018, a fire consumed Unit G at the Cone Summit Apartment complex in Greensboro.
Five children died, and the investigation revealed bigger issues at the complex.
The city condemned almost all of the units for code violations in August of 2019.
“The families that were assisted out of Cone Summit would have had nowhere else to go had it not been for us and the Community Foundation in the city and the faith-based organizations working together,” said Byerly.
The Housing Coalition has a program called the Emergency Tenant Assistance Program.
“If we didn’t have this program, people would come to us and say, ‘We’ve been condemned out of our housing,’ and we would say, ‘We feel really bad about that. We’re sorry. We wish there was something that you could do,’ and because of this program, there is something that we can do,” said Byerly.
With the help of the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro, Brett and his team have helped over 900 people in 300 families relocate since the program started a little over six years ago.
“Everything’s built on relationships and partnerships and I’m deeply, deeply happy about our relationship with the Community Foundation and how they help keep us going,” said Byerly.
The money donated helped people in East Greensboro who lost their homes in the April 2018 tornado.
“We helped about 50 families move through that process,” said Byerly.
The program also assists with evictions, mediation between landlords and tenants and helps people new to the area find housing.
Brett tells FOX8 his team is talking about how to follow up with families they help.
They are looking for a way to check and see if their clients are getting the services they need and if the new homes are working out.
The obstacle right now is funding.
You can find resources you need and read more about the Greensboro Housing Coalition on the Greensboro Housing Coalition website.