'Do something, legislature' Bellevue residents call for change as rent continues to skyrocket

Creekwood Apartments
Posted at 3:42 PM, Feb 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-22 14:22:20-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Native Nashvillians and retirees on Social Security are facing rent hikes in Bellevue.

One woman posted online that her rent is going up $700 more a month, and others are facing 50% increases.

The Creekwood Apartments in Bellevue are a melting pot. There's older units, renovated units, and new ones that were built following a fire.

Dellany Smith was just told her rent is going up now that the apartments were bought by Brookside Properties.

"A lot of native Nashvillians are just having to move," Smith said.

She grew up here and is frustrated about how expensive rent has become. "I currently have a one-bedroom," Smith said. "It was $870 when I signed my lease last year, and it’s going up to $1,300 whenever they do the renovations."

According to The Greater Nashville Apartment Association, in 2021 average rent went up 19%. In 2022, it's still skyrocketing.

Following the end of the eviction moratorium, companies are increasing their prices due to demand.

Vera Hendrickson, a retired Metro officer and flight attendant, moved to The Sawyer because she got free rent for two months last year. Now, it's gone up hundreds per month.

"It’s very disappointing, and I’m very saddened about it, and I’m just hoping for the best," Hendrickson said. "I’m still looking."

She called one place for help, but nonprofit organizations have been overwhelmed with need during the pandemic. So, she dialed her Metro Council member to advocate for rent control. "They can charge whatever they want at any time, so I asked her why can’t these laws be changed? And she said we’ve tried, we’ve gone to the state, and they let us know that that’s their deal," Hendrickson said.

Unless help arrives, Hendrickson will have to move away for good. She’s looking at apartments in Fairview and Dickson. "Do something legislature, change these laws," Hendrickson said.

There are several rental assistance programs in the area. Programs include Needlink, Catholic Charities, St. Vincent De Paul, Metro Action Commission, and the Mid-Cumberland Community Action Agency.