WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WGHP) — People living in two city-owned Winston-Salem complexes on Willie Davis Drive and Cleveland Avenue don’t understand why they are being forced to leave their apartments.

They are now having to figure out their next steps.

City leaders are asking them to leave so they can make the repairs to the buildings.

Neighbors say they feel their units are in good shape, and it all started with a complaint about the outdoor stairs.

City leaders put in an emergency order to fix that problem on Wednesday morning.

Anthony Washington has called the Willie Davis apartments in Winston-Salem his home for nearly 15 years.

“It’s very comfortable. I like the area. No drama or nothing,” he said.

Washington says he was surprised to receive the letter explaining that he had to vacate their apartments by May 31.

“It was devastating…nothing is wrong. All we asked was for them to tighten up the steps. It had a little cut in it,” Washington said. “We asked for that. Now all of a sudden, we’re being asked to move.”

Assistant City Manager Patrice Toney tells FOX8 the city has owned both apartments for more than 50 years, and the buildings have not undergone any significant repairs in that time.

“Internally, the units probably look fine for the tenants. What we know for sure is there have been no major internal repairs to the building in terms of plumbing roof,” Toney said.

At Monday night’s city council meeting, tenant after tenant expressed concerns about the lack of affordable housing in the city,

City leaders say they will help people move and pay the moving expense and rent difference for two years or until the building is rehabbed.

“If they take over and renovate, they can say it’ll take a year…three years. It’s not going to be the same. The rent won’t be the same…that’s if we can get back in,” Washington said.

Right now, Washington pays $420 a month on a fixed income and worries he won’t find a better price anywhere else in the city.

“Everything for a one-bedroom around town I’m hearing is at least $850 or more,” he said. “I can’t afford that.”

We also reached out to the city’s Code Enforcement Department.

A spokesperson tells FOX8 they have not gotten any complaints about the apartments from the people who live there.

There have been some high grass issues that were taken care of, but there are no pending violations or any that were cited.

City leaders plan to speak to the tenants individually to find out their needs.

There will be a meeting on Monday at City Hall beginning at 4 p.m. where the focus will be housing.

It’ll be a chance to hear what’s included in the budget.