CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) - Haven49, the private apartment complex branded as "off campus" housing for UNC Charlotte students, is still under construction more than two months after it was supposed to open.
"It's something nobody should have to deal with in college," said UNCC junior Katlin Anthony.
Katlin originally paid nearly $1200 to cover August's rent at Haven49, she said. However, construction delays put the project behind schedule. Katlin, and other students, say they were only told the apartments would not be ready as they were getting ready to move in.
Haven49 has apologized to students but anger continues to mount. More than 400 people have joined a Facebook page called "Victims of Haven49" to express their anger at the situation.
Haven49 offered to put students in housing limbo up in a hotel. But the offer wasn't free, according to an email shown to FOX 46, which indicates the money used to pay for hotel rooms came out of students' rent checks. Katlin says she never authorized that.
"We wrote 'first month's rent' on the [rent] check," said Katlin. "We never agreed for that to be used for anything else."
To make matters worse, Katlin says she was promised a full refund but says Haven49 reneged the next day.
"You will receive your refund within 30 days," an email, dated Aug. 25, from Haven49 to Katlin read.
The next day, officials seemingly changed their mind.
"You wil only receive the gift card as promised," an Aug. 26 email from Haven49 read. "Unfortunately, anyone staying in the hotel, your first installment went towards your hotel accommodations..."
Katlin says she was instead offered a $500 gift card with restrictions.
"I was in shock, honestly," said Katlin. "I think once they found out it wasn't going to be ready they should have refunded you."
Haven49 ignored FOX 46's questions about offering Katlin a refund. The complex, which does not yet have a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy, according to county officials, has been plagued with delays and failed inspections.
Officials last tweeted on Aug. 3 - less than two weeks before people were supposed to move in - that they were "gearing up for Move In Day!" Haven49 tweeted tha they would even have carts for students to use for their convenience. At the time, though, the building was still under heavy construction. More than two months later it is still not done.
Since then, Haven49 officials have been telling students that a new move in date is just around the corner. On Thursday, they remained optimistic.
"We are still working very hard to resolve the situation and we are indeed nearing the finish," a new letter to students read. "We are truly in a day to day evaluation of a handful of items that remain."
Haven49 is now targeting Oct. 27 for its overdue opening.
"As we continue to progress through various rounds of inspections, as of today, we do not feel confident that we will receive all of the necessary approvals we need by this weekend. Therefore, unfortunately, we are going to have to delay into next week with the new target date of October 27.
We are still working very hard to resolve this situation and we are indeed nearing the finish. We are truly in a day-to-day evaluation of a handful of items that remain. That said, we need our contractor to keep moving through these remaining items so that we can get them inspected and approved for occupancy. Please accept our apologies for having to deliver this news. We were very hopeful that this week was going to finally be the one. We appreciate your continued patience and will continue to keep you updated."