Edenbridge Apartments in Morehead City NC, Displaced Residents After Hurricane Florence, Now Fear HUD Housing Voucher Regulations

As I understand it, Edenbridge Apartments in Morehead City NC are HUD Section 8 housing units for the elderly who were asked to leave their homes after Hurricane Florence damaged the roof causing health concerns from mold. The apartment complex is owned by East Carolina Community Development Inc out of Beaufort NC, who just secured funds to complete repairs on the senior housing complex but displaced residents are now in jeopardy of losing their voucher subsidy because of U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development regulations that say you can only be vacant from your subsidized housing for 180 days, or you will be removed from assistance.

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Clarification: Asking residents to leave happened shortly after the hurricane. The point of this article is to bring light to the 180 day regulation that is now affecting these residents.

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Given that housing issues in Carteret County communities like Morehead City are already at a critical level after Hurricane Florence, there are no Section 8 housing opportunities in the area for these low income or fixed income seniors to transition to. And, if they do not secure Section 8 housing by the 180 deadline then it could be an entire year before they can reapply to the program.

We also understand that Coastal Community Action in Newport NC is helping Edenbridge Apartments residents with their HUD vouchers but can do nothing because of government regulations.

Area Information, Attractions, and Destinations
In short, and this is completely dependent on whether I have the right information (use the comment section below to let me know or post information you want known about this issue), a group of low income seniors were forced from their homes after a natural disaster and in to a community where there are no comparable housing units and they risk homelessness or financial ruin if they don’t find housing locally that does not even exist.

If my summation is correct, this is a complete failure on so many levels that I do not know where to begin. I understand hurricane damage and mold. I understand, and am thankful for housing vouchers for low income seniors. I am thankful for Coastal Community Action and the HUD program.

It’s Happened Elsewhere
But with literally thousands of empty hotel rooms, motel rooms, RVs, and vacation homes sitting empty during the off-season here in Carteret County, are we sure that we can let some government regulations put the elderly in jeopardy? If it comes down to regulations are regulations, then using the comment section below what are some possible resources that you can think of to help these Morehead City residents and what can we as local citizens do in the future to address housing in our community after natural disasters like hurricanes so that no other family has to endure this?

In addition to addressing this issue, does anyone have any figures on new homelessness in Carteret County and Morehead City that are directly attributed to Hurricane Florence? Of people being displaced because of damage, how many are senior citizens in subsidized housing? How many are vulnerable families with minors?

I have no doubt that Family Promise, Hope Mission, and area Churches are doing everything they can, is this just a matter of these organizations and agencies being overwhelmed, or is this literally just an issue of the lack of low income Section 8 housing in the area?

Does HUD not have federal powers to designate 50 or 60 local motel rooms as low income homes temporarily so that these displaced families can stay local? Surely, these motel owners would welcome the off-season tenancy.

This issue with Edenbridge Apartments likely caught many off guard after the hurricane, but there was a shortage of low income housing already in the county before the storm.

We have to address this today.

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Michael Sharp

Michael Sharp

Native of Carteret County NC, Father to Makayla and Savannah. You can add me on Facebook. Interest include web development, encryption, and other technologies.

2 thoughts on “Edenbridge Apartments in Morehead City NC, Displaced Residents After Hurricane Florence, Now Fear HUD Housing Voucher Regulations

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    December 11, 2018 at 9:55 pm
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    Even more to the point, they were forced to leave, expected to find the same type housing even though there is none, or they are to suddenly develop new incomes as senior citizens, or face homelessness.

    Reply
    • Michael Sharp
      December 11, 2018 at 10:02 pm
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      I don’t want to focus too much on “forced” because it legitimately was for safety and health reasons. And this is really nobody’s fault, East Carolina Community Development and Keith Walker I am sure would have the apartments fixed tomorrow if they / he could, I am sure Coastal Community Action would be happy to help if not for regulations. I am sure the Edenbridge staff want to help. I am even sure local motel and hotel owners and staff would love to have these guests in the off-season.

      I am just appalled that nobody at HUD can sign some type of emergency action in cases like this and designate local vacant rooms as temporary Section 8 housing when they know there is none available. So yes, after 180 days if these senior citizens don’t find friends or family to stay with, or find Section 8 in other areas, they go homeless and go to the back of the line for housing in another county or community.

      Reply

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