Economy Inn shut down sheds light on bigger housing problem in G - FOX Carolina 21

Economy Inn shut down sheds light on bigger housing problem in Greenville Co., says one organization's leader

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Emergency Response Team helping to place 150 residents (FOX Carolina) Emergency Response Team helping to place 150 residents (FOX Carolina)
GREENVILLE COUNTY, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Like many people living in the Upstate, Dr. Yvonne Duckett said it's a beautiful place to live, but sadly she also said there is an ugly truth that can't be ignored.

"There are some hidden secrets, there are some hidden factors we need to look at and we need to take care of the people that have been here forever," said Dr. Duckett.

On January 24, dozens of families were forced out of the Economy Inn on Augusta. 17 of them turned to Greenville County Human Relations who can help people with a down payment or security deposit for a permanent home.

"We have had about 5 who have visited our office and said look we have found places to stay, and the next step for us to send inspectors out there to make sure that they are livable because we don't want them in the same situation they were in before," said Dr. Duckett. 

Until they can get to that step though, many live in limbo. 

"This is an on-going problem this is not the first hotel or motel. It's not going to be the last unless we can do something," said Dr. Duckett.

It's Dr. Duckett's hope that this latest shut down can bring about change. 

"There needs to be something in place that say you just can't rent a tent and charge $1,000 a month," "said Dr. Duckett.

Dr. Duckett said tighter regulations need to be put in place to prevent people from going back into dire situations and to help them get out them once and for all. She suggested some ways that local and state leaders can tighten regulations by notifying tenants in addition to landlords if a motel or hotel is being looked at for closure, putting tighter regulations in place for all landlords and placing more restrictions on motels and hotels that mandate the buildings keep up livable conditions.

“We have to make certain that these individuals are safe and for some of those individuals staying in that motel was safe for them… But still it's inhumane, those people were living like they were in a third world country,” said Dr. Duckett.

In 2017, Dr. Duckett said Greenville Co. Human Relations helped place 180 families into permanent, sustainable homes. If you or someone you know needs help with temporary or permanent housing, you can call GCHR at (864) 475-7095. 

PREVIOUS: Dozens left with "no place to go" after Greenville Co. condemns Economy Inn on Augusta Rd

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