'We’re getting pushed out:' Childcare workers can't afford rent

Chelsie Delgado
Posted at 3:33 PM, Feb 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-22 14:22:34-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Workers in the childcare industry have been shocked by rent hikes.

NewsChannel 5 covered one story on a woman struggling to pay rent, and then the inbox was filled with messages from other tenants in the same boat. There's no apartments in the community that they can afford. NewsChannel 5 reached out to Hendersonville commissioners. They referred the station's request to the mayor's office, who did not respond.

In some areas, rent has gone up $200 to $500 a month. It's overwhelming for people like daycare worker Chelsie Delgado.

"You’ve got us people who are full-time workers, who work over 40 hours a week or 80 hours a week even doing overtime, who are still struggling but we’re low income,” Delgado said, “We’re getting pushed out, that’s basically how I feel about the whole situation."

Due to the rent increase at her Hendersonville apartment, she moved in with her fiancé's grandparents.

"I have a kindergartner who I had to pull out of in the middle of his school year to start a new school, all because of this,” Delgado said, “So it’s hard, it’s emotional."

According to Legal Aid Society's Zac Oswald, state law prohibits rent control in Tennessee. In other cities, it's illegal for landlords to jack up rent excessively.

“Unfortunately, landlords and tenants were both struck really hard by COVID-19 and the pandemic, but landlords were able to refinance and take advantage of really competitive interest rates, and we have not seen those savings trickle down to renters," Oswald said.

He said they've been busy helping renters know their rights during the pandemic. They provide free legal help.

"Renters, who are low and middle class who normally would be homeowners by this point, can’t get into the housing market. They’re stuck in the rental market, which only increases the demand for housing, which allows landlords to raise the rent even higher," Oswald said.

As for Delgado, she's not sure her next steps. Hopefully, she'll find a rental she can afford soon.

"I would have never thought, for me to be where I am now," Delgado said.

Several action commissions have rent assistance programs. They help people with low income or those impacted by COVID-19.

Check out the Mid-cumberland Community Action Agency.

In Nashville, you can find out more about rent assistance from the Metropolitan Action Commission. Details below.

Rent Assistance Program
Rent Assistance Program