Two days after protesting outside of the Forsyth County Government Center, a small group of demonstrators gathered Friday outside of the leasing office at LaDeara Crest Estates to demand better housing conditions.
Led by Chasity Graham, a current LaDeara resident who is appealing her eviction, and organized by Winston-Salem Housing Justice Now, the group of protesters — less than 25 in total — made speeches outside of the leasing office and briefly marched through the sprawling housing complex.
“Fair is fair, we live here,” Graham chanted through a megaphone.
Graham spoke at length at Wednesday’s protest about her housing conditions — leaking roof, broken appliances, sagging floors and a rodent infestation — and spent most of her efforts Friday trying to rally the support of her fellow residents. About half of the protest attendees were concerned community members and not actual residents.
“Their issues are my issues,” Sara Hines told the group through a megaphone.”If you got holes in your floor, then I got holes in my floor.”
Hines and others said they would go as far to occupy the leasing office and the parking lot if the residents' maintenance demands aren’t met.
Demonstrators chanted variations of those chants made popular during national protests after the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery. Things like “No justice, no rent,” and “Hey hey, ho ho, these slumlords have to go.”
Another resident, Janice Davis, said in an interview she had lived at LaDeara for 15 years. Davis said she personally has had no issues with her landlord or management company, but she wanted to stand with her neighbors who did.
Another demonstrator, former resident Yolanda Pinckney, said when she lived at LaDeara her apartment had mold in the walls, and she was forced out by management when she raised concerns.
“They did me and my daughter dirty,” Pinckney said into a megaphone.
The leasing office was closed Friday as the company was observing the federal July 4 holiday. A sign posted on the door notified tenants rent would start being due again "June 1," and any rents not collected by the fifth would be subject to a late fee.
Several residents and former residents said the only way to pay rent at LaDeara is to drop payment through a slot, and that it is rare to get a receipt.
The complex’s maintenance men could be seen Friday, but didn’t interact with the demonstrators. Several residents looked on from their doorways but didn’t join in the demonstrations.