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Residents face possible eviction

On the same day Gov. Jim Justice said 28,000 unemployment claims were filed in the past week, Affordable Communites Group LLC., a North Carolina-based investment company, reminded residents of Granville’s Mona Mobile Home Park that if they don’t pay rent — they will be evicted.

“As you know, the coronavirus has turned the world upside down in the last two weeks,” the letter sent on Tuesday by Chief Operating Officer Chris Barry began.

The letter goes on to state the next two or three months will be “very difficult times” but that residents must continue to pay their lot rent. It recommends those who lost their jobs file for unemployment and look into “our local county housing department as many are setting up emergency rent assistance funds.”

“Unfortunately, if lot rent is not paid each month we will have no choice but to file an eviction,” the letter states.

“The fact that they’re even threatening eviction during this time and while courts are closed even; have some compassion at least,” Mona resident Addie Hosey said.

Hosey said she isn’t worried about her family making the lot rent, but she is worried about many of her neighbors, at least one of whom is a server — one of the jobs hardest hit by the COVID-19 restrictions.

“For the most part I’m assuming you’re looking at this from a standpoint of the residents and perhaps some are upset,” Barry told The Dominion Post. “We have no intention of filing any evictions during this period. We just reserve the right to do so.”

Barry said if people pay their rent or not, the company still has to pay its mortgage and utilities.

He declined to answer specific questions, such as if the total rent for the park was equal to the company’s mortgage payment or if the company was still trying to profit during a pandemic. Barry instead offered to give The Dominion Post a “glimpse of where we’re coming from.”

ACG has deferred home payments for its residents who are purchasing their mobile home through the company, Barry said. However, that is not in the letter and most people in the community own their homes, he said.

The letter also states corporate officers are not going to accept compensation for three months. Barry declined to specify what counted as compensation or to “get into the numbers” but said four or five people are included in that.

The letter also spread misinformation. It states the federal government is sending each family about $1,000 in April. On Tuesday, no such bill had been passed by either the House or Senate.

“That was just what we heard in the news,” Barry said.
As of Wednesday, a $2 trillion COVID-19 stimulus bill that would give each adult a single payment of $1,200 was still being worked on. It’s unclear when that money would actually arrive.

ACG also waived its $2.95 transaction fee for online payments.

“But a $2.95 fee waived for online pay is ridiculous,” Hosey said.

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