NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — It's a fact of life in this city on the rise: as Nashville makes way for new development, sometimes people are forced out of their homes and businesses as owners decide to sell.
As plans are in place to expand housing in the Edgehill neighborhood, some neighbors living on low incomes say they need more time to find a new place to live.
"Over the next two to three years, this whole street is supposed to look like these buildings," said Park at Hillside tenant Preston Barlow, looking at the newly built Hillside Flats units across the street.
Barlow, along with Jillian Laws, Tammy Tatum and other neighbors at the Park at Hillside Apartments in Edgehill, got a letter at the start of June, saying they had to be out at the end of the next month — just two days ago. A text sent Tuesday after 2 p.m. said they had until 4 p.m. to leave.
On government assistance, the neighbors say even though the units built across the street and soon to be built where they live are classified as affordable housing, it's still not affordable to them.
"All these places are overpriced," Barlow said. "Why do you think we're on Section 8 and government assistance?"
The impacted tenants say they were all on month-to-month leases. From a legal standpoint, the apartment manager, Elmington Property Management, seems to have done nothing wrong. But neighbors say even two months' notice in this market is just not enough time.
"Y'all know about this crisis right now. It's not long enough. We've been looking this whole time. A few people got lucky, got to stay with friends or something, but not everyone was lucky to find this place so soon," Barlow said.
"The end solution is, we're homeless with our children," Tatum said. "School starts next week. We have no home. We have nowhere to put our stuff, and now we have to turn our keys in at 4 p.m. today."
Tenants at the Park at Hillside said one of the apartment's maintenance employees verbally abused one of the women who spoke with NewsChannel 5 Tuesday, calling her an offensive name after seeing we had arrived to tell her story.
A Park at Hillside spokesperson issued the following statement:
This is simply the next phase of the redevelopment of The Park at Hillside.
From the very beginning, this has been a community-led process, and we have worked together with the long-term Park at Hillside residents, the neighborhood and community stakeholders over the past six years to revitalize this area.
Through this communication, our residents have known for some time of the long term plan. For the past year we have transferred the existing residents to short term leases while further communicating these plans. In addition, nearly 12 months ago we stopped leasing vacant units within the property. All the while giving these residents the opportunity to apply for the new housing.
The first stage of this new project was to build the new 290-unit Hillside Flats, which is 100 percent affordable housing. Our goal was to first ensure the longtime residents of Edgehill and Park at Hillside had a sustainable place to live as we worked to create a new Park at Hillside.