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Follow up: cancer patient asks for more time before eviction

By Juliana Valencia
Published On: Aug 19 2013 06:04:22 PM CDT
NEW BERN, CRAVEN COUNTY -

A woman battling cancer continues a second battle to stay in her home. News Channel 12 is following up on Patsy McGowan from Craven County. McGowan has non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a form of cancer. She is battling cancer for the second time, and worries about losing her home at the end of the month.

Her eviction is not over rent. McGowan says it stems from arguments between her and the property manager at Autumn Chase Apartments in New Bern.

“What happened could have been solved between the two of us,” she said.

McGowan and the apartment's management met at Twin Rivers Opportunities Inc. in New Bern on Monday. Twin Rivers Opportunities Inc. is a housing assistance non-profit that serves as an unbiased mediator for lower income families residing in Craven, Jones, and Pamlico counties.

Her clinical social worker, Carol Harshman says McGowan is being evicted on the grounds of aggression.

"The lease termination was aggressive verbal behavior towards the manager's children, finger pointing and things like that, but we haven't actually been able to talk to any witnesses about that," Harshman said.

In the next 10 days, the board of directors at Twin River Opportunities Inc. will notify McGowan on whether or not her voucher will be extended so she can stay at her current home.

After the meeting, we tried talking to the VP of Excel Property Management, Rita Blackmon.

Blackmon said, “I have no further comment at this time.” Other management involved at the meeting also had no comments.

Monday afternoon, News Channel 12 went to Autumn Chase Apartments during business hours to see if the property manager wanted to comment. No one answered the door. We also left a voicemail for the property manager, and are still waiting on a response.  

We also made calls to Excel Property Management, but did not receive a response; however, we do have a statement from Excel, from when we first contacted them in early August.

"A number of our staff has met with Ms. McGowan on several occasions as well as other interested parties by her. She was granted an extension, and we mutually agree to extend her stay until August 31st. Neither the owner nor management has any further comment regarding this matter," Blackmon said.

McGowan’s doctor has asked for her lease to be extended until she is at least done with chemotherapy.

Without an extension, McGowan doesn’t know where she will live after August 31st.

"My grandkids are going to have to sell my furniture and do whatever, and if I have to I will sleep in my car," said McGowan.

For now, she will just have to wait and see if she will have place to call home by the end of this month.