Treiva Moyo was leaning against the door of her room at the Southern Comfort Inn in west Charlotte Thursday, behind her were her six children, crowded around the two beds the family shares.
They moved to the extended stay hotel about a year ago from a domestic violence shelter. Now, their lives are upended again, Moyo learned just 24 hours earlier.
She learned their fate when TV stations broke the news that the property’s manager had notified city officials of the inn’s imminent closing. After nearly two years of city leaders and nonprofit organizations attempting to help the inn stay open amid mounting financial trouble, this week’s development means that the 80 families, many of whom have young children, have until June 30 to move.
“Where? I do not know,” Moyo said, voice deep, as her braids fell alongside her dark freckled skin and somber eyes.
The closure comes on the heels of repeated complaints about living conditions, some of which city records obtained by The Charlotte Observer last week show have been unsolved in the last two years. The inn, which rents rooms on a weekly and monthly basis, functions more like apartments than a hotel. Since complaints in late 2020 about broken appliances, water damage and infestations of roaches, rodents and bed bugs, repairs unaddressed have been accruing fines of $100 per day, city records show.
In April, property manager Traci D. Canterbury Jones notified the city the business had no money to make further repairs and resolve the complaints filed with city code enforcement. Last month, Jones’ letter to the Charlotte City Council — mentioned by Mayor Vi Lyles at Tuesday’s city council meeting — said too many residents are severely behind on rent payments and the business can’t pay its bills.
While exasperated residents bemoan the inn’s gruesome state of sanitation and debilitating infrastructure, many have yet to figure out where they will move.
The city says they aim to find housing solutions for each household by June 30. They have partnered with nonprofit organization United Way of the Central Carolinas to assist people, but Moyo said that United Way told her they did not have sufficient availability to find her and her kids somewhere to live.