HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (WSAV) — Some residents of one lower-income Hilton Head housing community have just days before they have to move out.
Now some local Island businesses are stepping up to help families who are being evicted from Chimney Cove Village.
“We are in a position where these people impact our business and our visitors. So why wouldn’t we want to step up to the plate and help them?,” said Dru Brown.
That was Dru Brown’s thinking when he heard about the Chimney Cove evictions.
The owner of Island Time Rentals called his property owners and asked them to turn a weekly rental into a monthly rental for two to three months so the families who work and go to school here can have some more time to find a permanent place to live.
“We want to be that support for these folks,” said Haleigh Krawtzow, Island Time Guest Services Manager. “We want to be a lending hand because I can’t even imagine what they are going through right now.”
It was earlier in August when the owner of Chimney Cove gave all the residents more than 300 eviction notices.
The predominantly Spanish-speaking residents, including 76 school-age children, were told they had to leave because the owner Sam Johal wants to sell the property.
The way Johal set up the leases, according to the Deep Well Project, at least 20 of those families have to be out of their apartments by Sept. 12.
There are estimated to be 150-200 people living there who work in various service industries on the Island like restaurants, hotels, and law services or landscaping.
Four local rental companies in the Hilton Head Rental Association, including Island Time, Beach Properties of Hilton Head, Island Rentals of Hilton Head, and Beachside Getaway through their owners, are making 26 properties available for families to live in for two to three months, for about the same rent they paid before. That is about $1,500 a month.
It’s two to three months that Chimney Cove families need to figure out what’s next, and a win for property owners who aren’t guaranteed money during the slower tourist season.
“Right now it is telling our owners this is a guaranteed revenue,” said Krawtzow. “We can’t guarantee that these weeks in September and October will be booked.”
Brown says while the response has been good, it could be better.
He is now challenging other companies, and other property owners to help out. To give these people what they need most right now.. time.
“It’s not only the right thing to do, but it is also the right thing to do for the community,” said Brown.
The Town of Hilton Head has set up a meeting on Sept. 6 to discuss the Chimney Cove Village and the affordable housing situation.
That may be too late to find a solution for the people who must move out just six days later.
The Deep Well Project and Christ Lutheran Church have each set up funds to help with moving expenses and deposits.
Deep Well says the 25 families it has spoken to need help with deposits for new places, utility bills, moving expenses and trucks, furniture, or possibly a hotel room.
If you would like to help,
Christ Lutheran Church Chimney Cove Fund:
Deep Well Project Chimney Cove Fund: