The Daily Tar Heel

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Saturday June 25th

Residents say Collins Crossing management ignores needs

Residents in Collins Crossing Apartments say management is ignoring their needs — making it hard to find comfort during this week’s frigid weather.

To Violeta Gordon, the snow this week has meant no running water or a working toilet.

The story so far

Things have been tense between Collins Crossing residents and management:

  • Nov. 2012: Residents begin protesting rising rent prices as the complex underwent renovations.
  • Nov. 2012: A boy fell through stairs at the complex.
  • Jan. 2013: Carrboro mandated renovation of the stairwells.
  • March 2013: Stairwell renovations were completed.

A Collins Crossing resident since July, Gordon said she wasn’t given any assistance when she complained to management about her frozen pipes.

“They told me that when it reaches below a certain temperature, you have no running water,” Gordon said. “Maintenance told me to wait a couple hours for them to warm up, but they made no attempts to fix the problem.”

In addition to her frozen pipes, Gordon said some of her belongings were recently stolen from her front patio.

Another resident, Jay Morales, said he was also worried about the security at the complex.

“I don’t feel safe here,” Morales said, adding that his car had been broken into recently.

Representatives from Collins Crossing did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Morales said the complex recently renovated some stairwells in the building as mandated by the Carrboro code enforcement office last year.

“But what good is renovating when security is down?” he said.

Gordon and Morales said they would not be renewing their lease at Collins Crossing.

Morales said he is already recieving letters reminding him to renew his lease six months in advance, saying he must act quickly or rates would go up.

“They raised the rent as their way of getting tenants out of here,” Morales said.

The complex is trying to move its market to become more upscale, and it has been an area of concern for the town of Carrboro, said Alderman Randee Haven-O’Donnell.

Unfortunately since it is a privately owned business, the town’s hands are tied, she said.

Affordable housing has been an ongoing struggle in Carrboro and management at Collins Crossing knows the town is not at all happy about what’s happening to its rent, she said.

“I think they’re bullies, and they have an agenda to push current renters out so they can market to students,” Haven-O’Donnell said.

As far as maintenance and security are concerned, Haven-O’Donnell feels as if residents could be hesitant to contact the town manager because their legal status may be questioned. She urges anyone experiencing these issues to let the town know.

“We want to protect our entire community, whether they be citizens or not,” Haven-O’Donnell said.

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