City Council Ordinance Set to go into Effect January 1 will force evictions of low-income families
The Virginia Fair Housing League Action Fund (VFHL), in response to a recent Daily Press headline article, has joined forces with local small business owners and community residents to fight the recently passed Newport News City Council Ordinance 6950-13 which bans hotel and motel stays greater than 30 days in a 60 day period and favors large corporate extended stay interests.
Today the VFHL transmitted nearly 150 unique signed letters to members of Newport News City Council from legitimate paying guests from two Newport News based hotels expressing their grave opposition to this Ordinance which shortly after the New Year will put them out of a home and onto the cold, crime ridden streets of downtown Newport News.
“It’s really hard out here now and days you have people sleeping on the streets with their kids up under trees and this is the best place to go [Wynnwood Hotel]…you have a warm place to stay and you don’t have be outside in the cold” said Aneka Wilkins a mother of 3 who would be homeless in Newport News City Council had their way.
“The hard working, low income and middle class families, are in the crust of the holiday season and now Newport News City Council wants to remove them from their rooms and force them out on the streets” said VFHL Community Executive Director Stephanie E.M. Clayton. “It’s time for Council to review and repeal this Ordinance and stop favoring big business, based in North Carolina and California, over small community owned businesses and look out for their citizens during these cold winter months.”
The following is the text of the nearly 150 signed letters remitted to Newport News Mayor McKinley L. Price, Vice Mayor Bert Bateman and all members of City Council:
“I am a paying guest of the [Travellers Inn or Wynnwood Hotel] located in Newport News, Virginia. I have been made aware the City Council Ordinance 6950-13 which bans stays in Newport News Hotels and Motels greater than 30 days in a 60 day period.
I write to express my deep opposition to this ordinance and its unintended consequences. If you allow this ordinance to go into effect come January 1, 2014 then I would be homeless come January 30, 2014 when the management of the [Travellers Inn or Wynnwood Hotel] would be forced to evict me per your direction.
We are in the worst economy since the great depression and affordable housing is nowhere in sight. I, like many other families staying at the [Travellers Inn or Wynnwood Hotel] cannot get approved for a home loan or rental lease and the wait time for government assistance can be years.
While this living situation is not ideal, it is a temporary solution during the cold winter months it provides a warm bed to cuddle up in at night and safe and clean environment in which to live.
As a voter and resident of the City of Newport News, I respectfully request you repeal this ordinance immediately and halt your planned evictions of hard-working, low income families, like ours.”