45 Newport students forced to move out of apartment complex, district says


CAMPBELL COUNTY, Ky. (WXIX) – Newport Independent Schools is among those seeking to help the hundreds of tenants moving out of Victoria Square apartments.

A district spokesperson said up to 45 students would be affected after the apartments’ new owner delivered mass departure notices ahead of planned renovations.

The spokesperson said students can continue to enroll in independent schools in Newport even if they leave the district, although the district cannot provide transportation for those coming from outside its area. .

“We are concerned about the additional trauma families face with the loss of their homes. School enrollment and student attendance can be one less thing to worry about,” said Jennifer Stewart, district director of faculty and student services.

PREVIOUSLY | ‘It’s not human:’ Vacancy notices are being delivered en masse to Newport apartment tenants

The apartments’ new owner, Sunset Property Solutions, will soon begin construction on the complex, which sits in the shadow of what will eventually become the 25-acre mixed-use Ovation development on the banks of the Ohio and Licking rivers.

Construction will take place in two phases, giving some existing tenants 60 days to vacate. Others have until the end of January.

A spokesperson for SPS management said they will honor the leases of those with one-year leases. The spokesperson points out that SPS gives tenants at least 60 days’ notice.

Stewart says the district is concerned about the “disruption and stress our families are facing with the start of school in less than a month.”

Missy Hambrick is experiencing exactly that. She lives in the complex and is due to leave at the end of September. Her 16-year-old grandson attends Newport High School.

“He plays football, and you know he’s fine, yeah,” she said. “And Newport, so, I mean, I was worried about if I moved to, like, Dayton or Bellevue, if he could stay in the school district.”

Hambrick says the district news on Thursday is a relief. But she and others remain reeling from the decision.

“A whole new level of stress,” said Rodney Hauck, another Victoria Square resident whose child is in the Newport Independent School District. “Because it’s hard to find a place you can afford to move to.”

The borough launched Thursday an action of assistance and information to the student-tenants and their families.

Affected families can contact Student Support Services at 859.292.3001 or their child’s school for enrollment assistance. Stewart says the district will also help those in need of school clothes, hygiene items, school supplies and/or food. These families can also receive food assistance from the district’s Stock the Kitchen food pantry every Thursday.

“These families are going to have to save money to pay their rent, last month’s rent, first month’s rent in a new place and pay the deposit,” Stewart said. “We’re trying to take something off their plate.”

The City of Newport says the Brighton Center has set up a helpline at 859.491.8303 to provide resources and help Victoria Square residents find new accommodation. City officials have also been in contact with the developer to provide resources to help displaced residents.

“The City of Newport remains extremely concerned about the well-being and welfare of our residents in Victoria Square and is closely monitoring the situation,” a city spokesperson said Wednesday.

The city released a statement on Tuesday saying the apartments are privately owned and the city “does not have the power to force landlords to accept vouchers or dictate rental terms.”

The Northern Kentucky Branch of the NAACP has scheduled an informational meeting with residents of Victoria Square Apartments to discuss the current and future status of their living situation. The meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, July 27 at 6 p.m. at Second Baptist Church on Brighton Street in Newport.

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