Councilman says city should have taken action at Lake Arbor Apartments sooner

A Charlotte leader says action should have been taken sooner at a troubled west Charlotte apartment complex that's now kicking all of its tenants out. 

Charlotte City Councilman Braxton Winston referred to troubling conditions at Lake Arbor Apartments as a "learning experience" on Wednesday.

"Definitely, at Lake Arbor, something should've been done more than a year ago," Winston said.

Lake Arbor is in the process of kicking all tenants out, according to a letter sent out on Tuesday. The same letter said Lake Arbor plans to fix the property once everyone is out -- but their leases will not carry over.

LINK: Lake Arbor Apartments says all tenants must vacate units

"It's potentially 177 families that can be out on the street," Winston said.

FOX 46 began investigation disturbing conditions at Lake Arbor in July 2019. Since our investigation, code enforcement started an unprecedented investigation into the complex, finding violations at every unit.

A class-action lawsuit has been filed against the complex by tenants organizing with the North Carolina Justice Center.

The North Carolina Attorney General's Office has an active investigation into the complex.

City leaders have prioritized affordable housing after voters approved a $50 million bond, but Winston believes Lake Arbor is an example of the need for a tracking metric to see if what they're doing with affordable housing dollars is working.

"We have a long way to go and this is not going to be fixed by just throwing money at something," Winston said. "We have to have real, structural change."

Lake Arbor plans to have all units cleared by Dec. 31. 

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