Non-profit tells New Carlisle seniors to move out, fueling community petition
NEW CARLISLE, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) - A non-profit is asking seniors to move out after taking over an apartment complex in New Carlisle.
Tax funded renovations are fueling the fight, continuing with a petition from residents.
Most seniors living at the complex on Sunrise Terrace are in their 70s and 80s, surviving on social security. But some were told they make too much money to stay, putting them in a frustrating situation.
“We thought we'd be here until the very end of time,” Beverley Berry said.
Three weeks ago, Beverley and Harold Berry were told their apartment will be renovated.
But they won't get to enjoy the changes. They have to move.
“A lot of these people ain’t got nothing and they gonna get kicked out?” Harold Berry said.
The faith based non-profit Episcopal Retirement Services just agreed to a deal that gives them majority ownership of the complex if they secure tax credits to cover renovations.
But the credits have income requirements some residents don't meet.
“We didn't make too much money to live here in the beginning,” Berry said.
Frank and Linda Kieffer have lived here for years. They're in the same boat as the people in 7 other units.
“We love it here, we got great neighbors,” Frank said.
Dozens in the New Carlisle senior apartments on Sunrise Terrace signed a petition urging their board to halt any deals.
“Right now we're just buying our time,” Kieffer said.
FOX 45 took resident's concerns to Episcopal Retirement Services. They said residents will be taken care of, and they are trying to create a better place to live.
Company representatives said, “We are not kicking them out. We are asking them to relocate,” adding, “we are compassionate and take care of our residents"
“We feel like we've been kicked to the gutter, along with a lot of our friends,” Kieffer said.
So what's next? The non-profit says residents have two options.
They can move to another unit that could also get renovated, putting them in the same situation years from now, or the company will pay for you to move elsewhere.
Also it turns out a state law protects these residents, allowing them to refuse to move.
The non-profit said that puts tax credits at risk.
The Berry's will weigh their options, praying they don't have to move.
“It’s the old people like us getting the shaft on it,” Berry said.
The apartment's independent board is reviewing the concerns.
Meanwhile, Episcopal Retirement Services said they plan to visit residents again to help them better understand their options.