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93-Year-Old Could Lose Home Over Late Property Taxes

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Posted at 10:55 PM, Jun 11, 2015
and last updated 2015-07-09 02:17:57-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – There's nothing like home sweet home, so imagine if you were forced to leave with no way to help yourself -- that's what's happening to a 93-year-old woman who’s late on property taxes she can't afford to pay.

Aner Turner helped St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church build her home back in 1990. Her daughter, Stella Thompson, said it was part of the affordable housing movement.

"They moved in my mom, sister and her three boys and they loved it," she said. "It was the first home they owned."

Fast forward 25 years later, Stella said now her mother is being forced to leave.

"She doesn't know anything else, and it would break her heart not to be able to be here," she said.

After receiving a letter from the city, it might be inevitable. It's a judgement to auction off her home on June 17 if she fails to pay $4200 in property taxes.

"It breaks my heart because I feel helpless," said Stella.

Ms. Turner lives on a fixed-income. Her son-in-law, Kendall Thompson, said it’s been tough to make ends meet.

"Even though her income didn't go up at all, the property value and appraisal have more than doubled, which causes the property taxes to go up and basically a lot of the people are being priced out of their homes," he said.

Ms. Turner lives in Rose Park. Kendall said this area is now real estate gold.

"We like the new shiny buildings, but this is the ugly side of what happens when you start to get this level of gentrification in a neighborhood," he said.

Her family can pay some of the taxes, but the city won't accept partial payments. Ms. Turner could sell her property to the many developers who have sent letter asking to buy her home, but she doesn't want to leave.

"She has over 20 years here and over 20 years of memories,” said Stella. "I don't know what we'll do."

If she can gather up enough money to save her home, they plan to enroll her in a program the city offers to help seniors subsidize their property taxes. Unfortunately it's too late for the program to help her now.

If you would like to help, Ms. Turner's family has set up a Go Fund Me account under Aners House.