‘Move Action Day’ helps Heritage House residents find new homes

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- A community effort to help low-income families find work and affordable housing turned out to be in the right spot to help hundreds of families transitioning out of the troubled Heritage House.

The city of Greensboro is condemning the building July 30 due to outstanding water bills that stretch back at least 10 months. Duke Energy also had issues collecting money from the Heritage House Homeowners Association.

The Greensboro Housing Coalition and the New Jerusalem Center have been helping connect residents in need of a new place to live with new landlords.

Both were on hand for the 5th annual Move Action Day organized the New Jerusalem Cathedral.

By coincidence, it happened to be set up right next to the Heritage House on West Meadowview Road. Transportation had been cited as one of the major roadblocks by residents to finding help through a housing advocacy group.

Terry Simmons isn't sure a place will be ready for him by the time everyone is ordered out.

"Now he's waiting for them to do an inspection on his house before I move in," said Simmons.

All places found through the housing agencies will be subject to an inspection.

The city has asked the Interactive Resource Center on E. Washington Street to provide a temporary shelter for those who haven't arranged for new housing or are still waiting for it to be finalized.

The IRC has started a fundraising campaign they call "40 Cots in 7 Days" to help provide enough bedding and places to sleep.

A spokeswoman for the IRC said they are preparing for at least 50 people who would have to stay at the shelter but admit they really can't estimate how many Heritage House residents will still need a home come July 30.

City Councilwoman Sharon Hightower said the temporary shelter should only be open for a few days with all of the efforts being made to help find residents housing.

"We want everyone to know this is a collaborative effort," said Hightower. "We're working hard to make sure that these people remain whole."

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