Economy Inn on Augusta Road condemned

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GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA)- The Economy Inn on Augusta Road in Greenville was condemned Wednesday, displacing dozens of residents.

According to a Greenville County spokesperson, a lack of smoke detectors, plumbing problems, and electrical and heating issues prompted the county to condemn the motel.

Jori Green said she’s been a resident at the Economy Inn for about a year and a half.

“Living conditions are terrible,” she said.

With the motel shut down, the county’s “motel displacement response plan” was put to the test for the first time. Funds from the county and several local organizations are being used to put Green and dozens of her neighbors in hotels while they get back on their feet.

“There’s over 37 partners who mobilized to be ready today to provide transportation, meals, and moving folks to another motel and working with connecting them to services that we hope can help land [them]…in a better, less tenuous place,” said Susan McLarty, who is a coordinator with the Greenville Homeless Alliance.

Green said it’s been difficult to find a more permanent place, even as she’s working, going to school, and paying nearly $900 a month for a room at the inn.

“Everybody out here is not drug addicts and prostitutes and liars and thieves,” she said. “You got people out here that’s just in hard times trying to make ends meet and trying to do better for their family.”

The Economy Inn has been in the spotlight before, most recently for the shooting of Alicia Laws in December.

Local activist Lavonne Bailey said that was a tipping point.

“I think that that was the last straw that broke the county’s back in order for them to see something needs to be done in reference to the hotel here,” she said.

Green said she didn’t just lose a neighbor but a friend.

“Like kids…they don’t need to be out here. I’m glad they closing this building down,” she said.

7News’ attempts to reach the owner of the Economy Inn Wednesday were unsuccessful.

The motel owner has two months to get the place back up to code, according to a Greenville County spokesperson.

Those who want to donate to help those displaced can find more info here.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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