Coalition formed to help Ashland hotel/motel residents relocate

ASHLAND, Va. (WRIC) — A man named Curtis, who asked us not to use his last name, has lived at the Shady Grove Motel in Ashland for nearly three years. But under a new ordinance passed in Ashland to help police crack down on criminals, Curtis and others like him will soon have to move out.

“Got told we have to move by a certain date you know and no place to go,” Curtis said. “People on disability like me and other people.”

According to that ordinance, no one can stay at a hotel or motel for more than 29 days in a six month period, unless the hotel or motel has a permit from the town. And even then, a guest can’t stay more than 90 days, meaning many who don’t have any options for affordable housing, will have to find another place to live, or live on the streets.

“We’re talking about 200 to 250 rooms, hotel rooms of occupants,” said David Cooper.

Cooper is part of a newly formed coalition called Ashland Open Door, aimed at helping those residents relocate.

“We want to help people to be able to find some suitable living arrangements, places that are decent, safe, affordable and accessible to transportation,” said Cooper.

“That might help a lot of people around here,” said Curtis.

Curtis says he’s tried to find an apartment he can afford but hasn’t had much luck.

“It’s just a waiting list on the apartments around here. Anywhere from 6 months to a year or longer ,” said Curtis.

He says he’s worried that nothing will be available by the time the ordinance will begin being enforced.

“Very concerned because I don’t know what I’m going to do after the time runs out,” said Curtis.

The ordinance goes into effect July 1st 2016 but we’re told  there will be a grace period as the coalition works to relocate residents.

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