RiverChase Apartments residents get help in final days before complex closes

RiverChase Apartments
Posted at 7:16 PM, May 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-10 21:32:22-04

EAST NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — It's coming down to the wire for roughly three dozen people who have to find a new place to live by the end of the month. The group lives at RiverChase Apartments in East Nashville which is set to be torn down later this year.

Doris Hickman lived at RiverChase up until a few months ago. P.A.T.H.E. — or People's Alliance for Transit, Housing and Employment — helped her find and move to her new, affordable home a few blocks away.

"I'm just so happy to be in a new spot, a safe spot, where everything is quiet," Hickman said.

Since October, P.A.T.H.E. has helped relocate at least 50 residents. Executive director Jackie Sims said it's the hardest job she's ever taken on.

"We were able to make sure they could still get to work, if they needed to be on a bus line they're on a bus line, and if they have grandchildren in school and were accustomed to coming to visit, we wanted to keep that in mind," Sims said. "Those are quality of life issues, and I was trying to keep as many quality of life issues in mind when I did a placement."

Roughly 150 low-income residents were forced to find a new place to live when the new development was announced. But the developer, Cypress Real Estate Advisors — an Austin-based investment firm — did give residents nearly eight months' notice, money to help move and letters for potential landlords to read to know former RiverChase residents were not in default.

"We didn't move one family that is not 10 times happier now where they are than how they were living at RiverChase," Sims said.

Hickman is thankful for the housing navigators at P.A.T.H.E. and doesn't know how anyone could stay in the city without this help.

"I probably would've ended up going back home. I'm originally from Hartsville, Tennessee, and we probably would've ended up going back home. I've been in Nashville for over 20 years, and this is my home, and I didn't want to go back home," Hickman said.

The 37 remaining residents at RiverChase Apartments have until May 26 to move out. As of April 30th, 111 residents have moved out, according to the developer.

An apartment complex with at least 1,100 units is proposed. It will include 220 units of affordable and workforce housing.