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Senior Citizen Seeks Help to Elected Officials for Their Struggle in Increasing Rent Rates

Sharon Johnson, who is 67 years old, reported that her rent increased by $350 per month this year, which threw her budget into disarray. (Source: CNN Business)

Seniors in Milledgeville and Baldwin County are struggling with inflation. They increasingly ask elected officials for help.

Ann Smith, 82, says that because of the high expense of living, she has cut back on her favorite “simple pleasure” – drinking soda. (Source: CNN Business)

Senior Citizens Raising Their Concerns on the Rising Inflation Rates

In a published article from Union Recorder, several senior citizens met with local and state elected officials at Vaughn Chapel Baptist Church to discuss their problems. State Sen. Rick Williams, Rep. Ken Vance, Baldwin County Sheriff Bill Massee, Commissioner Kendrick Butts, and Milledgeville Alderman Walter Reynolds attended. Baldwin County Chief Appraiser Wade Williams appeared and answered property tax issues. The Rev. Tony Fraley organized the meeting. He said he got a haircut at Walmart and met a woman who expressed concerns about rising inflation. Edith Lee lives at Creekside Apartments, Milledgeville’s newest senior citizen development.

The barber stopped cutting and we listened as she spoke. And I felt her suffering.” He said Lee stated she was notified by apartment complex authorities that her rent would rise by $100 a month. He thought about what she said all day and night, the pastor continued. It occurred to Farley to invite some of his elected acquaintances to a meeting with several local folks to see what they might do to address their problems. Fraley raised that it is not just about the rental problems, it also concerns rising medical and grocery prices. “I’m thinking there may be some benefits to help every senior in this room,” Fraley said that seniors typically don’t know where to find support. He said the meeting was not to quarrel but to acquire clarity and understanding via dialogue. “We hear about crime every day; young people being killed; and people walking into stores being shot,” Fraley said. But then we must ponder. Are we murdering elders by making them unable to move?

READ ALSO: Hanson City Commissioners Approve Maintaining Property Tax Rates for Current Year

Senior Citizens Charged with the Operation Cost

The situation was shared by Lee. Lee said she was physically, mentally, and financially unable to leave, even though her two-bedroom apartment rent is rising by $100 a month. She moved to Creekside Apartments less than a year ago. She and other renters got rent increases a week before recertification. Lee said the notice read: “The rental rates have been increased due to increases in operating expenses including but not limited to insurance and property taxes.”

She believes apartment complex operating costs should not be passed on to renters. Lee stated her monthly payment would rise to $730 from $630. “It’s going up $100,” she remarked. She underlined that these individuals can raise their rent, but that the apartment complex operates on an income scale. Her reason for contacting elected officials was that. Lee quickly asked the officials if they would support their voting seniors. Lee stated, “I’m not here telling nobody that I’m not going to pay my rent, because I have nowhere else to go.” “Neither do I want to go. Nice complex. I grant it. Is it right? Are we treated fairly?

She asked officials if retired people already had a hard life. Dialysis patients including Lee, get treatments on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. She’s been on dialysis for nine years. The going gets tough. I want to sleep peacefully without worry.” Milledgeville City Alderman Walter Reynolds addressed senior residents’ problems first. Among his subjects was housing.

Reynolds discussed Central State Hospital Local Redevelopment Authority-sold houses near the hospital. A few years ago, those houses sold. After considerable renovations, Reynolds said the residences are now for rent. “One of those homes is available,” he continued. “A three-bedroom, two-bath at $1,600 a month,” Fraley claimed would exclude most meeting attendees. Reynolds remarked, “One of my suggestions to the board at that time was to offer these to the community so they could be purchased to build generational wealth.” “They sold the parcels to a single developer in one transaction.”

The city council member said it was a squandered chance to give the homes to those who needed them. Reynolds continued by saying that because he worked for the board at the time, he did not have the authority to dispute their decisions. The city official also addressed older people’s transportation concerns. Rides are available from Baldwin County Transit.

Reynolds: “It’s $2 each way and must be scheduled in advance. I get your worries. Not the easiest way. Sometimes you need to get across town and don’t have 24 hours to book an appointment. With the transportation infrastructure we have, I think the city, county, school system, and institutions of higher learning – Georgia College – should look at our resources to see if we can share them in the community.” Reynolds requested a Creekside Apartments rental agreement regarding rent increases.

Reynolds went on to say that his wife had promised to look into the lease papers and see if the fee increase was reasonable. “We should also investigate whether these apartments were built with federal or state housing funds; they may be unable to raise the rent.” Senator Rick Williams addressed local elders’ concerns.

Senator Rick Williams was made aware of the meeting. Sen. Williams, a senior, inquired as to what they could do at his age of 70. He obtains Social Security benefits while working around the clock. I can’t afford to give up my job and live at home on Social Security.” Local, state, and national inflation, according to Williams, all damage everyone.

Williams remarked that they must work together to find alternative answers. Vance mentioned that he was raised to care for children and the elderly. Vance believes that municipal governments should perform essential functions such as law enforcement, public safety, water and sewer, streets, and cleanliness. You then take care of the old people who brought you there.” As a member of the Georgia General Assembly, Vance emphasized that he would continue to address core issues.

READ ALSO: Adoptee Murders His Step-parents Who Rescued Him from Orphanage in Florida

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