According to a court order filed by the City of Newport News, tenants of the Seaview Lofts apartment building must vacate the property by July 1.
NEWPORT NEWS, VA – Time is a luxury that Vernet Scarborough can’t afford.
At 73, Scarborough helps care for her wheelchair-bound husband and older sister inside their three-bedroom apartment in the Seaview Lofts apartment complex near Newport News’ City Hall.
But the fast-approaching deadline left her unsure of what would happen on Friday.
“I can’t go out on my own. I have to get a moving company, and I can’t afford it financially. So, I don’t know how it’s going to go.”
According to a court order filed by the City of Newport News, tenants of the Seaview Lofts apartment building must vacate the property by 9 a.m. on Friday, July 1.
This Monday, the building’s elevator system failed a safety check, leading the city to convict the building of code compliance issues and start a 48-hour hour before residents need to vacate the property.
Insiders confirm that of the two elevators that are supposed to operate inside, only one is currently operating.
Scarborough said she has not yet made any plans to move because she simply cannot determine her age, financial and living situation.
“There are old people here who are worse than me. They are celibate and can’t do anything for themselves, so what are they going to do about these people? You’re just going to put them somewhere? That’s not right,” she said.
Mother Cheryl Bowman faces the same uncertainty.
“We have 48 hours to move, that’s the unbelievable part,” she said, adding that many residents will not be able to discover a new living situation in this short time, or may not be able to afford it.
Bowman added that it would be a long night of packing between her and her son, as the haulers moved into the apartment building on Thursday afternoon. She plans to sleep in her bed but is not sure where she will live next.
“It could be a hotel. It’s the weekend and trying to find an apartment within 48 hours is not considered.”
Del Marcia “Cia” Price (D-Newport News), who represents parts of Newport News and Hampton, told 13 News Now that she is saddened by the situation.
“Because no one has to go through with this, but also because we put in legislation this year that will go into effect tomorrow if the governor had signed it rather than veto the bill. It would have allowed communities to have more power to really crack down,” she said. on slum owners.
Price believes this highlights a methodological problem.
“The [Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act] Fail to protect tenants who are in this situation to have a place to go, and to get resources. So, the city is progressing in any way possible. But this is really only the responsibility of the owner for not doing his part.”
Several 13News Now residents they spoke to pleaded with the owner of Seaview Lofts to do the right thing. We have reached out to him several times for comment. We have not received any response yet.
Wednesday and Thursday, the city introduced housing information and resource packages at the nearby West Avenue library to better assist residents in helping find a new living situation. Staff at the Newport News Department of Human Services are expected to provide another round of support Friday morning.