Community Center Under Fire

Abbey Court is probably the poorest community in Chapel Hill and Carrboro. It’s a complex of condominiums rented out for cheap to a large community, mostly consisting of immigrant families. Every school day it’s common to see entire school buses full of kids empty out into the complex so that they can all return to their respective homes.

The Human Rights Center, a community center which provides free after school tutoring, classes, mentoring, and other services sits in two apartments in Abbey Court so they can better provide for the people there. Recently, though, the Abbey Court home owner’s association has declared the HRC to be in violation of their rules because they use those units for non-residential purposes. The HOA levied a fine of about $300 a day onto the HRC, essentially pushing them out in an effort to drive low income residents away from the neighborhood and attract more students.

It’s despicable, really. So much so, that even Carrboro mayor, Mark Chilton, has spoken out against it saying “Abbey Court is pretty clearly the most disadvantaged neighborhood in all of Chapel Hill and Carrboro…The Human Rights Center has been a very positive force within the community. They’ve been providing mentoring, afterschool tutoring, and many other important services to the folks living in Abbey Court. I just can’t understand where the owners of Abbey Court are coming from in wanting to kick out a group that’s been such a positive influence on the families there.”

The eviction hasn’t quite been finalized yet, but it’s clear that the HRC will have to find a new home. Hopefully the people of Abbey Court won’t suffer too much due to the greediness of a few.