(2018) Summit Cone Families Committee

• Documented Community Needs
• Preliminary Survey Findings
• Families Committee Achievements
• Housing Complaint Information I Must Know
• Important Questions
• Steps to Filing a Complaint About Repairs
• Steps to Filing a Complaint About Housing Discrimination
• What Happens After I Complain?
• What Happens if My Apartment is Condemned?
• Meeting Notes

(1) Use of the Community Center to access computers to record concerns and keep records of community issues and complaints. 
Status: In operation  08/02/2018
(2) Police Community Resource Officer to liaison with community member volunteers to  increase security on site and encourage positive relations with the police.
Status: Families must reach out to the Eastern Division commander and community officer for police to appear at any scheduled events   08/04/2018
(3) Assistance with American-style parenting skills, children’s and teens responsibilities and roles, making stronger families, building good relations with neighbors and making a better community
Status: No progress  08/02/2018
(4) Help with teen programming
Status: No progress   08/02/2018
(5) Air conditioners while families remain 
Status: No progress   08/02/2018
(6) Assistance finding new places to live
Status: In progress  08/02/2018
(7) Fencing to protect children (+ crosswalk and safer driveway)
Status: Unknown  08/02/2018
(8) Ongoing repairs and maintenance of apartments 
Status: In progress  08/02/2018

19 families do not fee safe at Summit-Cone (76%) ; 6 families feel safe (24%)

(1) 64% feel unsafe in Summit Cone apartments
(2) Slightly less express the desire to leave
(3) All need financial assistance to leave
(4) The average family size is over 6.

(1) Formed a leadership team
(2) Organized its own community meeting
(3) Created a list of families’ priorities
(4) Directed creation of an information website
(5) Directed creation of a space to regularly record and track housing concerns
(6) Submitted its first online complaint.
(7) Presented at the District 2 community meeting
(8) Presented at the City Council meeting during public speaking time
(9) Accepted invitation of the Mayor and Council to sit down with families (date pending)
(10) Works closely with the IAC. 


(1) In an emergency, call 911 and give clear details. Do not wait.
(2) If your English is weak then ask a neighbor to call. Do not wait.
(3) If there is a dangerous situation it is better for police and firemen to come than for people to die.
Police, fire and medical emergencies: Call 911
City Of Greensboro: 336-373-2111
(1) Report emergencies at once. Call 911.
(2) Officially report complaints to the landlord. (See the section below titled, “STEPS TO FILING A COMPLAINT”). 
(3) Computers and help are available at the Community Center.
(4) If your English is weak then ask a neighbor to help.
Renters: 336-373-2489: Code Compliance Call Center
Homeowners: 336-676-6986: Community Housing Solutions
(1) The Greensboro Housing Coalition (GHC) is a nonprofit, non-governmental organization that is a fair and reliable ally.
(2) The GHC office is located at 1031 Summit Avenue, Greensboro 27405
(3) Find additional information at the GHC website.
Greensboro Housing Coalition: 336-691-9521
(1) The Fair Housing Division is operated by the City of Greensboro's Human Relations Department.
(2) Residents of Greensboro, citizens and non-citizens, are protected by Civil Rights.
(3) Residents are entitled to be treated with respect and dignity.
(4) Find additional information at the City of Greensboro website.
Human Relations Department, Fair Housing Division: 336-373-2038

Computers and help are available in the Community Center.
Question 1: Repairs are not being done to my satisfaction. Should I stop paying rent?
Experts say you should pay rent even though you don't believe you receive good service. The reason is that if there is a review by the City or a legal case, then you have demonstrated you did your best to fulfill the obligations of a renter despite being wronged. Such honesty will pay off before a judge.

Question 2: The landlord is fixing unoccupied apartments but not mine or others’. What can I do?
Assert your rights. Start by filling out an official complaint. Tell your neighbors to do the same. Everyone has a phone. Photograph what you see because it will be good evidence and proof you are telling the truth.

Question 3: Explain how my complaint must be answered by the landlord and City.
(Day 1)You send your complaint. (Day 2)Your complaint is received and a Case is opened. (Day 2+) A City inspector performs an Initial Inspection and finds more than 5 minor violations or 1 major violation. (Day 2+) The landlord is officially informed of the violations. (Day 2+) At the same time a Hearing is held by the Minimum Housing Standards Commission (MHSC) no more than 20 days after the landlord has been informed. (Day --)The MHSC issues an official Order to Repair to the landlord who has 30 days to complete repairs. (Day --) The inspector then checks the repairs. If the repairs are not completed then the landlord can request more time, but the MHSC can also issue a Condemnation Order and a $200 fine. More penalties and fees can be charged until repairs are made. (Day --) If repairs remain incomplete, unsatisfactory, etc then the MHSC can issue an Order to Repair or Demolish.
     Between x and y days can pass from the time you complain until your repairs are done. Good landlords answer quickly and fix things quickly.
     Because the process is long, you must make your official complaint as soon as you can. Don’t wait.
     This is the link to the City's Code Enforcement Overview.

Question 4: How do I move?
First look carefully at your family's income and consider if you can afford the expense of a new apartment. For example, if the costs at Summit-Cone are already difficult for you to pay then it will be hard to find a better place. But don't give up hope. Greensboro Housing Coalition, a nonprofit agency with an excellent reputation, will give you good advice and information.
     Greensboro Housing Coalition director: Brett Byerly

Question 5: How can we have a fence to protect our children and a clean and safe parking area?
Keeping a clean and safe property benefits the families and the landlord. Because there is no manager (employee of the landlord) at Summit-Cone and no regular form of communication between families and landlord, it might be possible to negotiate an agreement. If families agree to work through the Families Committee negotiation will be easier, because the landlord will only need to talk to one organization. Because American agencies have no time or interest in maintaining the parking area or preventing outsiders from using the dumpsters, it might be possible to negotiate a similar agreement with the landlord. For families to have these protections they must work together. No single family's complaint or solution will work.

Question 6: Who is the elected representative of my district?
Summit-Cone residents live in the City's District 2. Goldie Wells was elected to be your representative on the City Council. Although you may not have citizenship, you have the right to talk to your council member and you have the proper expectation that your interests and rights will be promoted and protected by your council member.
Mayor of Greensboro: Nancy Vaughan
 Mayor Pro Tem: Yvonne Johnson
Council member at large: Michelle Kennedy
Council member at large: Marikay Abuzuaiter
District 1 Council member: Sharon Hightower
District 2 Council member: Goldie Wells
District 3 Council member: Justin Outling
District 4 Council member: Nancy Hoffman
District 5 Council member: Tammi Thurm

Question 7: Can I communicate my problems to the City Council?
Yes. Here is the website that contains the City Council information, phone numbers and email information. You can also send them your opinions and problems using the online form
     But to document an official complaint to the landlord, follow the directions described below ("Steps to Filing a Complaint about Repairs").

Question 8: What is the International Advisory Committee?
The International Advisory Committee (IAC) is under the Human Relations Commission. Both are staffed by non-paid residents who represent the interests of the people of Greensboro. In turn, they report to the City's Human Relations Department which advises the City Council and elected officials of the City.
International Advisory Committee chairperson: Franca Jalloh
Human Relations Commission chairperson: Samuel Hawkins
Human Relations Department director: Love Crossling

Question 9: If I complain, can the landlord kick me out? If I complain, can an agency stop helping me?
Your housing rights protect you against threats of retribution or actual retribution. If you believe anyone threatens you or tries to force your silence then contact the Human Relations Department at once. See "Steps to Filing a Complaint about Housing Discrimination".

Computers and help are available in the Community Center.
1. Take pictures of the problem. Upload/Save the photos to the Community Center.
2. File a complaint to the owner, Arco. The complaint should be short and to the point (200 words) starting with date. Send via their Website: arcorealty.org. Scroll down to "CONTACT US: Drop us a line!"
3. Send the same complaint information printed on paper and mailed to
              Arco Realty, 625 South Elm St, Greensboro, NC 27406
    If you need envelopes and stamps, ask at the Community Center.
4. Keep a copy of the complaint at the Community Center.
5.  If the complaint is unanswered after 1 week, if the repairman never shows, if you hear nothing after 1 week, then file a complaint immediately to the City’s Housing Codes Violations site. Copy-paste the info you've already sent to Arco. The message box has a 1000-character limit, or about 200 words. Click here to go to the form.
7. Once submitted, you can track the complaint. Click here to track the complaint.
8. Unless the steps are followed, the owner will have excuses not to perform repairs. By filing official complaints you deny the owner this excuse.

Computers and help are available in the Community Center.  
You cannot be unfairly treated because of your race, color, religion, national origin, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, handicap (physical and mental disability), and family status (families with children under 18 including single parents, adopted children, and pregnant women). Housing discrimination is illegal.
If you believe you have been the victim of discrimination then assert your rights. 
Click here and go to the bottom of the page to report it to the Greensboro Human Relations Department/ Fair Housing. Or you can call 336-373-2038.


Summit-Cone Community Meeting called by the Families Committee
Saturday, July 14, 2018 
Discussion about Families' Organization
Raniya, Shifo, Analalia, Jecko, Wabikwa, Louis, Omari, Naomi, Eca, Foster, Deborah, Adija

Franca Jalloh, International Advisory Committee chair
Susan May, Bonner Center
Emily Wright, Rankin Elementary
Andrew Young, Independent researcher, community organizer
Danny Rodas, Bonner Center

Key points:
Low income is an obstacle to improving families’ futures.
The conditions at Summit-Cone are inhumane.
The families continue to pay rent for poor responses and repairs.
Repairs are occurring in unoccupied units but not units with complaints.
The families have had many people say they are representing their interests; who are they?
A website for the community and complaint center would be useful.
Who will help lead the SC Families Committee?
We should help one another.
Community meetings are safe spaces for members to speak.
No one hates the landlord.
It is hard work to move.
The landlord is quick to receive rent but slow to repair, even serious sewage problems.
All responsible parties have been informed about ongoing complaints and problems.
Everyone is entitled to clear and accurate information.
In a safe space all voices are equal.
I want to move.
The parking space is bad; fencing is lacking.
If things were repaired I would stay.
There are positives and negatives about staying and leaving Summit-Cone.
Some families help one another by looking after their children when parents must work.
The caseworkers greeted us at the airport  brought us here, but then didn't tell us all we needed to know to live in these apartments.
Agencies deliberately placed us here knowing this was not a good place.
A family that moved did receive some help (from GHC?) but now they have utility bills they can't afford.
Under the circumstances, this is the best place for us.
After many complaints, minor repairs were made at my apartment.
This is better than refugee camps.
We need to enrich our minds. 

City Council and Families Meeting
Pace Building
Saturday, August 5, 2018
Agenda TBD
City Officials at Summit Cone
Thursday, July 26, 2018
Inspection Tour
Bonner Scholars Zaynah Afada and Kaled Atchabao serve as Summit Cone community guides and interpreters for Assistant City Manager Barbara Harris, Neighborhood Development Director, Stanley Wilson and Inspector, Roddy Covington. During the inspections officials find that most of the violations documented in the Summit Cone apartments after the fire that killed 5 children, especially the most severe and unsafe violations remain unchecked and unfixed by Arco/Agapian property owners. Community members are told that as long as they are repairing anything on the property Arco will continue to receive extensions on the repair deadlines. The city says nothing can be done to enforce the repairs.Their hands are tied.This policy must change for the welfare of all Greensboro Residents.From the community center, we watch ARCO working diligently each day on EMPTY apartments, preparing for new renters.
International Advisory Committee Meeting
Wednesday, July 19, 2018
Fire and Summit Cone Families Updates
City Council Meeting
Tuesday, July 10, 2018
Public speaking time
Door-to-Door at Summit-Cone organized by CNNC
Saturday, July 7, 2018
Who wants to leave?
Community Center Meeting called by Summit Cone Friends
Thursday, July 5, 2018
Community Center facility organization
District 2 Community Meeting called by Goldie Wells
Thursday, June 28, 2018
East Side (District 2 and 3) Shooting Deaths, Tornado Info, Renaissance Coop, Summit Cone Fire Concerns
Summit Cone Information Meeting called by New Arrivals Institute
Saturday, June 23, 2018 
Traffic Safety
Beathe Umuhoza, Swahili Interpreter, New Arrivals Institute (NAI)
Officer Darryll Stevenson, Greensboro Police Department
Marietta Douglas, Congregational Nurse NAI
Zaynah Afada, Bonner Center for Community Service and Learning
Susan May, Bonner Center for Community Service and Learning
Betsy Bouyeh, West Market Street Methodist Church

Residents of Summit Cone Apartments:

Specific requests from resident Community Members
(1) Use of the Community Center to access computers to record their concerns and keep records of community issues and complaints.

(2) Police Community Resource Officer to liaison with community member volunteers to  increase security on site and encourage positive relations with the police. 

(3) Assistance with American-style parenting skills, children’s and teens responsibilities and roles, making stronger families, building good relations with neighbors and making a better community

(4) Help with teen programming

(5) Air conditioners while families remain
(6) Assistance finding new places to live
International Advisory Committee (IAC) Meeting
Summit-Cone Apartments
Thursday, June 14, 2018 
Introduction of Police, Fire, IAC, HRC and HRD to Residents