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Residents at Collins Crossing apartments in Carrboro protest rising rent

November 5, 2012

From The Daily Tarheel

For Pat Noelle, Saturday was about searching for answers.

Noelle was one of approximately 50 residents, students and local advocates who marched in protest of rising rent prices at the Collins Crossing Apartment Homes in Carrboro.

“It’s not fair,” Noelle said. “If the rent goes up, what are they gonna offer us?”

The march for Collins Crossing began at the Carrboro Town Commons and wound through downtown, finishing on the lawn of Collins Crossing.

Collins Crossing, formerly known as Abbey Court Condominiums, was recently bought by Aspen Square Management.

The apartment complex is considered one of the last affordable housing locations in Carrboro.

Its residents are mainly Burmese and Latino immigrants. The complex has been plagued by crime problems in the past.

Noelle said she showed up to the march because she wanted to know what was happening to her rent.

She said when the apartment complex first changed hands, some residents received a flier telling them the monthly rent would go up by $25.

But residents complained their rent has risen by more. For some, rent has risen to as much as $720.

Noelle said she would be forced to leave her apartment if her rent reached $720. She pays $550 in rent each month.

“It’s hard to find apartments in Carrboro,” she said. “If I had to move, I’d have to go to Hillsborough.”

The Chapel Hill/Carrboro Human Rights Center has received complaints from several Collins Crossing residents about rising rent prices.

Victor Acosta, the center’s community director, worked with Collins Crossing residents to make sure they knew about the protest.
And students showed up in solidarity.

UNC senior Paula Gonzales said she marched because, as an immigrant, she knows the difficulties many immigrants face.

“Sometimes they are treated like criminals when they are just trying to make a living,” she said.

In October, Carrboro held several affordable housing forums for National Community Planning Month.

Local leaders recognized the problems with the supply and affordability of housing in Carrboro.

But protesters worry that the rising rent prices would further gentrify one of the only remaining affordable housing complexes left in the town.

“There isn’t affordable housing in Carrboro,” said Fredy Perlman. “This protest is self-defense.”

One Comment leave one →
  1. November 6, 2012 6:08 pm

    “Society VICTIM of Disturbance (C), at 100 Jones Ferry Rd, Carrboro, NC, between
    16:44, 11/03/2012 and 16:44, 11/03/2012. Reported: 11/03/2012.
    LW TROMBLEY, R.
    *LW28090*
    I was stationary in the PVA of 205 West Main Street when I observed
    approximately 50 people marching west down Jones Ferry Road from West Main
    Street. I immediately pulled out behind the subjects and activated my blue lights.
    Lt. Powell and Officer Velazquez immediately responded to my aid, all of us
    using our blue lights and sirens. We received multiple calls from Orange County
    Communications from drivers on Jones Ferry Road complaining of people in the
    roadway immediately after we got out with the subjects. The group of marchers
    appeared to be from the Really Really Free Market that had gathered at the town
    commons following the Free Market. One of the subjects was beating on a base
    drum and they all were chanting something about equal treatment and the roads
    were their roads. All units attempted several times to guide the marchers to the side
    of the road but were unsuccessful. Units also made sure that motorists were aware
    of the people in the roadway for everyone`s safety. The group continued down
    Jones Ferry Road heading west and entered Collins Crossing Apartments and
    gathered in front of the leasing office. Units monitored the activity from 500 Jones
    Ferry Road to insure that there were no further violation committed. No one was
    injured and no property was damaged in our presence.”

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