Grand Oaks Affordable Senior Living undergoing renovations that are increasing rent

Grand Oaks Affordable Senior Living undergoing renovations that are increasing rent

WEST ASHLEY, SC (WCSC) - An affordable living complex in West Ashley designed for seniors has sent out letters to their renters saying that their rent will be increased over a period of three years, and if they can't pay it, they will need to find another place to live before the 2021 deadline.

Several renters have expressed heavy concern about having to move again when they are in such late ages.

Helene Shaffer is 77 years old and says she loves the Grand Oaks affordable senior housing lifestyle because of the atmosphere it holds.

"You see them out walking their critters, you stop and talk, you have things in common," said Shaffer, a Grand Oaks renter.

But she says that the letters sent out telling her that her rent will increase seem like they will eventually force her out.

She has only lived in the complex for five months.

"I don't feel like I'm healthy enough to be looking for another place. And moving again, it's a lot of stress," said Shaffer.

The Humanities Foundation says the increased rent is necessary.

"It (the property) got into a bad state, needed new roof, new siding, new interior. They were in poor shape," said Tracy Doran, president and founder of the Humanities Foundation.

Doran says the foundation understands that renters may be nervous about the changes but they "aren't kicking anyone out into the street."

Doran says the renters have been offered a $300 dollar moving allowance and been given top-priority placement at other properties the Humanities Foundation owns when apartments become available.

Shaffer says if she knew about the rent changes only five months ago when she moved in, she would not have chosen Grand Oaks.

She is now worried her savings will take a major hit.

"But now that I'm not working, it's kind of scary to think that the money is slowly leaving every month," said Shaffer.

Until the 2021 deadline approaches, she says she and her two cats are staying put and hoping for the best.

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