NLR Apt. Residents Evicted After Airing Complaints

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, AR -- On Friday, residents showed us eviction notices given to at least two renters who appeared in our reports looking into conditions at the Shorter College Garden apartment complex.

We interviewed Anitial Meadows May 18th about raw sewage she said had been flowing near her unit for months.

"I was willing to make a statement," Meadows said.

Kiona Ayers spoke with us Monday, showing us holes in residents ceilings and black mold growing on walls.  She had started a petition among residents demanding better conditions.

Both Ayers and Meadows say they received eviction notices this week.

"[The] only thing... me and tenants wanted were better living conditions," Ayers said.

There was no one at the apartment office when we stopped by Friday afternoon.  When we confronted a manager Monday, she refused to answer questions.

"You have a First Amendment right  to speak your mind," said Carol Johnson, executive director of the Arkasnas Fair Housing Commission. 

The notice for Ayers lists "making false statements to the news media" as one of the reasons for her eviction.  Ayers maintains her statements were true and says our video is proof.

"A person can't be evicted because they complain about unfair housing conditions," said Johnson. 

But that's exactly what residents say has happened.

Now, mothers and their children are wondering where they'll go next.

"I really need help," Meadows said.  "I'm tired of crying about it.  I really am."

On Monday, Royal American, the company that owns Shorter College Garden, issued a statement defending conditions at the complex.
Friday, the company did not respond to a voice mail or email requesting comment.

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