GREENSBORO, N.C. - Several families in Greensboro may be forced out of their apartments because of unpaid rent. Rent they say they paid, but someone stole.
This story tugs on your heart-- but it could also hit your wallet. 2 Wants To Know did some digging and found the City of Greensboro loaned about half a million dollars to this low-income housing complex, called Kingsgate South. And now, Kingsgate South's owner is behind on payments to the city. And new information about the possible evictions raises questions about if that loan could get even harder to pay back.
Whitney Chambers doesn't want to leave her home. But Kingsgate South says she owes $2,391 in back rent despite saying she paid.
"I was very upset. That's absurd."
Whitney's not alone. Court records we reviewed show 17 families face eviction for back rent owed - from $435 to $4,801. Several of them provided receipts to 2 Wants To Know.
The residents say the property management company -- United Housing Associates out of South Carolina blames a former staff member for stealing their rent money. And the residents add UHA told them because they don't have a record of who paid they want Whitney and the other families to fork over the missing payments totaling almost $40,000.
"That's just crazy. It's crazy that we should have to pay back for something that the old office lady did," Chambers said.
Over the phone a UHA spokesperson declined an interview. But she said "it was a really big mess out there." She also confirmed there's an on-going investigation into the former apartment manager.
Here's how every Greensboro taxpayer is linked to this mess. UHA is already $50,000 behind in payments to the city for its half million dollar loan. Could this new missing money make it even harder for the company to repay your money? UHA wouldn't say.
The City of Greensboro says they'll work with the company to get back on track. To make it even more complicated 2 Wants To Know learned if UHA completely defaults on the loan the city may not see any money. Greensboro is third in line behind two other lenders on this 20 year old loan.
"However, the thing to keep in mind is that we have had 20 years of highly affordable units for the tenants who have lived there, so by no means is it ever a loss on the city's part," said Cynthia Blue of the City of Greensboro.
2 Wants To Know also tried to talk with the former manager accused of taking the money. We haven't been able to reach her. But the residents say she left a letter on their doors denying she took the money. It reads:
"That is the most hurtful lie I've ever heard. I've always been an honest person."