The landlord is due back in court on July 14.
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — Community members, including the Newport News NAACP, continue to rally behind residents of a condemned high-rise apartment building.
But now, some residents of the Seaview Apartments in Newport News tell 10 On Your Side they did not receive a gift card from funds that were raised by a local group.
Nearly 200 tenants of the apartments on 28th Street were given 48 hours’ notice to vacate. They had to be out by Friday, July 1. The 15-story tower was cited for safety issues both the building’s owner and the city knew about since April.
The main issue is the building’s non-functioning elevators.
In the meantime, the city originally extended free hotel rooms for displaced residents until Monday, July 11. Now a city spokeswoman tells 10 On Your Side that Newport News will continue to cover hotel rooms until July 14 — which happens to be the date the landlord is due back in court.
The community is also rallying behind the residents.
The Coalition of Concerned Clergy and Congressman Bobby Scott raised $20,000 over the 4th of July holiday weekend. That money allows the group to give gift cards to the displaced.
“Pastors have this calling — when one hurts all hurt. Whether we have members that live there or not, when we saw the situation we wanted to help,” said Reverend Dr. Tremayne Johnson, with the Coalition of Concerned Clergy.
One viewer now tells WAVY-TV that she did not get one of the cards.
“I was called today and was told that the only tenants that would receive that gift card of $200 would be the tenants who lived in a hotel,” said one resident who didn’t want to be identified.
She asked 10 On Your Side to investigate.
“My problem is that those people who had to scuffle and find other ways to go,” she added. “That the city didn’t pay for, would not be receiving that voucher.”
So, 10 On On Your Side reached out to the city who told us “eligible Seaview residents who did not receive gift cards earlier this week will be able to get them at the next distribution.”
President Tremayne Johnson with the Coalition of Concerned Clergy believes the next giveaway for residents not living in hotels could be as early as Monday at the same location and time.
The Newport News NCAAP is also looking to help displaced residents.
“I want to figure out how to get more real estate brokers, said Dr. Willard Maxwell, the Newport News NAACP President.
Maxwell says he is working with a couple to rent out one of his properties.
“I’m going to try to rent to some of these individuals,” he added. “I know that rent there is far lower than market rent.”
If you would like to help residents find temporary housing, contact the Newport News NAACP at 757-872-2338.