82-year-old woman forced to suddenly leave Newport News apartment building says faith keeping her strong

Carrie Young.PNG
Posted at 11:09 PM, Jun 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-30 23:14:54-04

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - The clock is ticking for residents at Seaview Lofts in Newport News. Residents have to be out of the building by 9 a.m. Friday, and many residents are frustrated with such short notice to leave.

82-year-old Carrie Young has lived in the building for several years. Now, she’s forced to leave suddenly after the Newport News Code of Compliance deemed the building "unsafe,"as the building's one operating elevator is not up to code.

Related: Report details problems with Newport News apartment building's elevators

"I was flabbergasted, to tell you the truth," Young tells News 3 reporter Leondra Head.

With a suitcase in hand, Young is walking to her friend Lisa’s house, less than a mile away from Seaview, to stay with her for a few days.

"I’ll probably come back before the month is out to get my furniture," Young said.

She says she’s given up hope that the elevator will be fixed anytime soon.

But she says her faith is keeping her strong through it all.

"I thank the good Lord I have somewhere to go," Young said.

"If Lisa wasn’t here, where would you have gone?" we asked Young.

"Ain’t no telling. Lord knows I didn’t want to go to a shelter and be in the street all day long," Young said.

Many residents packed up their belongings, loaded their furniture and filled their U-Haul trucks Thursday.

Residents say they received an email reminding them to pay their rent, despite being asked to vacate the building. Tenants say the apartment complex is not helping with any moving costs or fees.

"Unfortunately, in Virginia, the owner does not have to provide alternative housing. The city that condemned the building does not have to provide alternative housing," Amy Disel Allman, the director of advocacy for the Virginia Legal Aid Society, said.

As for Young, she says she’s taking it one day at a time.

Related: Sen. Kaine, Del. Price say state needs more tools to crack down on landlords