RiverChase Apartments resident says offering them affordable housing at future complex doesn't help

Developer to make 20% of new units affordable
RiverChase mother.jpeg
Posted at 5:09 PM, Apr 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-05 07:46:43-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A development coming to East Nashville is forcing people living at RiverChase Apartments to move.

While most of the complex is boarded up, there are still families, including Virginia Holland's, living in an apartment.

The unit in which Holland and her six children live is by no means her dream home. But since finding out they have to move by the end of May, she's come to appreciate all they do have.

"My biggest fear and my biggest concern is leaving here and having to go back to the homeless shelter," said Holland.

In 2018, using a housing voucher, Holland moved from a homeless shelter to RiverChase Apartments. Last year, when the owners sold the neighborhood, she was floored.

"It's not right to literally be pushed out of your home," Holland said.

To keep her family's housing voucher, Holland says she needs to find a four-bedroom apartment.

"My children know that we have to move, but it tears me up when they ask me when are we going to move and I can't give them an answer... I can't give them a proper answer, and say, 'yes baby, we're moving,' or, 'I know where we're moving to,'" she said.

Her family might be eligible to live in one of the new apartments that the new owners, a Texas-based investment, plan to build on the site. However, those won't be built until 2025.

"We're having hardship now. So if they plan to make it affordable in two to three years... great, but that doesn't help us now. What's going on now affects us now," she said.

Having moved not too long ago, she worries she won't find a new home in Nashville again by the time renters have to move out in May.

"I was at the homeless shelter for seven months because of the fact I could not find an affordable place. RiverChase was the only thing that had something available then, and we're talking three-and-a-half years ago... To sit and feel like I can't house my children, and not because I don't have the means to, but just that affordable housing is not available — this is something that should've been planned out years ago," she said.

Organizations like PATHE and The Salvation Army have helped more than 100 renters at RiverChase Apartments find a new place to live. Roughly 50 of the apartments still have residents.