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Buckroe Motel's abrupt closure forces some residents to confront lack of affordable housing in Hampton

Housing Crisis Hotline sees uptick in calls for Hampton Roads

Reporting by Leondra Head at WTKR

HAMPTON, Va. — A few weeks ago News 3 told you about the Buckroe Motel abruptly closing to address city violations, according to the owner of the motel.

People who had been living there for months said they were asked to leave on short notice.

We’re following through with the motel guests and why they're struggling to find a permanent place to stay. Many of the people who lived there call the motel home. News 3's Leondra Head went back to the motel to check in with them.

Many of them say affordable housing has been hard to find. One mother says she frequently gets asked this same question. "'Why can’t you rent a house?'" she said. "Because you have to have a security deposit. You have to have all this stuff up front. If you’re barely scraping here, how you go get that?" Tracy Hill says upfront fees hold her and many others back from living in consistent housing.

She’s lived at the Buckroe Motel for almost a year.

"Here it’s weekly," Hill said. "You pay your $350 and you’re good. If you go get a townhouse or apartment, you’re gonna have to have your security deposit, first and last month's rent. That is a lot of money to come up with all at once if you’re living paycheck to paycheck." Jasmine Taylor, a Doordash driver, has lived at Buckroe Mote

The two women don’t know where they’ll go next.

The ForKids organization says many of the people who call their Housing Crisis Hotline needing help are working people whose rent went up and they can no longer afford to live where they once did. "When hotels like Buckroe close, it’s important for people to realize hotels are usually the last line of defense when someone needs housing," Thaler McCormick, the CEO of For Kids said.

What resources are available? "It starts with our housing crisis hotline," McCormick said. "It’s a front door into almost 400 different resources throughout the region."

McCormick says there’s been an uptick in people calling the housing crisis hotline.

"Last year, we experienced almost 80,000 calls coming into the hotlines," McCormick said. "Just yesterday, the number was 314 coming from folks here in Hampton Roads."

If you are experiencing homelessness, you can call the Housing Crisis Hotline at 757-587-4202.


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