Failed inspections mean UNC-Charlotte students could be in temporary housing for weeks

North Carolina news

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WJZY) – Some UNC-Charlotte students say they are still trying to deal with the fact they are living in a hotel instead of a brand-new apartment.

There has been some progress on the East Village apartment complex in the University City area, but it’s not enough to let students move into the complex that was supposed to be open on Aug. 22.

“When everybody was moving in, they were kind of like stressed,” said Cheyenne Wyatt, a sophomore from Fayetteville. “Because it was different, but a lot of people are trying to look on the bright side.”

The residents are paying rent on the uncompleted apartments but living in hotels surrounding the university. East Village is not owned by UNCC, and the management group, Asset Living, based in Texas, gave residents two options four days before move-in.

Live in a hotel until the apartments are complete or find alternative living arrangements and receive an $800 gift card.

One student says even a day after she was supposed to get the keys to her new place, leasing agents said they are close to opening.

“There’s a mountain of dirt, you know when you construct, just a mountain of dirt,” said the student who didn’t want to give her name. “They said until they move that dirt, then we can’t move in.”

However, the contractors have been trying to get Mecklenburg County building inspectors to approve the units since July 28, 2021. So far, three inspections have failed, and on Aug. 13, just nine days before students were supposed to move in, the inspector failed the site, noting missing smoke seals, an incomplete door frame, and one unit had a broken window, according to the Mecklenburg County code enforcement website.

“I wanted to be in a room where I had my own bathroom, my own room,” said Wyatt. “I was ready to decorate it.”

East Village is trying to accommodate students spread across three hotels by giving a free meal each day.

“I did have to miss out on that,” added Wyatt. “I had class during 1-3 and that’s when they had the free Chick-fil-A and I had to miss out on that. I was very disappointed because I had to go spend my own money to provide food for me.”

Not only are some missing meals, but most also don’t think they will be in their apartment by Sept. 12, as promised.

“I don’t think it will be done. But I’m trying to have faith.”

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