Residents Upset Over Cherry Tree Crossing Evictions - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

Residents Upset Over Cherry Tree Crossing Evictions

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Some residents of Cherry Tree Crossing are speaking out after being served with eviction notices. You may remember that the housing authority is closing Cherry Tree Crossing in November. WJBF News Channel Six's Dee Griffin has a closer look at why some tenants are being put out sooner rather than later.

At Cherry Tree Crossing, homes once bustling with children and families stand silent. They are now peppered with bordered up doors and windows. Some residents say it's all because of evictions that have become widespread over the past two months.

Shala Mitchell received her eviction notice and has seven days to move her four children out of Cherry Tree Crossing.  She explains, "they never been this nasty. Now that they are closing this down they are trying to put at least half of these people out."

Cherry Tree Crossing is slated to close in a little more than a month.  But the housing authority is maintaining its rules until the end. According to the lease agreement, tenants must pay their rent on time each month. They must also complete eight hours of community service per month. Also, residents must pay their utilities and avoid interruption in service. That's what got Shala Mitchell in trouble. "Because of a utility bill. I was admitted into the hospital. By the time I got discharged it was too late and I went up there the next day and tried to pay it but she didn't want to receive it and she didn't want to at least try to look at my discharge papers," Mitchell says.

An attorney for the housing authority says it follows federal guidelines in terminating leases. In a statement, the attorney says "all such terminations are then presented in front of a civil court judge so that the tenant has an opportunity to explain his or her conduct, and a judicial determination can be made as to whether a termination is warranted."  He adds that evictions only happen after receiving an order for possession from the court.

Now that the court has spoken, Shala Mitchell is silently contemplating the next month for her children. "I can't stay down I got kids to raise and I have to make sure they are straight and have somewhere to stay," Mitchell admits.

Residents who are obeying the lease agreement rules will be given vouchers or section eight housing and their moving will be paid.  All residents should be out by the end of November.



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