Residents of Harriet Tubman Complex prepare to relocate
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) - Jamar Jones has been a resident of the Harriet Tubman development since grade school.
"Growing up here, man it was rough, but it was good," said Jones.
Now the winds of change are coming for Jones and all 253 of his neighbors.
"It costs too much to fix it, and costs too much to demo it," said 12-year resident Kenneth Hicks, "so the only thing to do is put the property up for sale and get the funds for us to get out."
And that's exactly what they'll have to do.
Residents will be forced to move, after the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development agreed to allow the sale of the 440-unit complex, that is seemingly falling apart.
"This little area was leaking once upon a time, they came and looked at it, and never did nothing to it," said one woman who invited Channel 3 into her home to look at her leaking ceiling.
Outside isn't any better. Channel 3 spotted broken gutters, a crumbling roof, and filthy awnings while on property Friday.
You need not look far to see why some residents are already packing.
"Change is good for everybody, you know the right city and the right community," said Hicks.
Lindsay Reece, who lives in the same complex, is looking forward to a safer community.
"A little quieter, less violence, so I don't have to worry about my kids playing outside," she said.
But vouchers, provided by the CHA, only go so far, leaving some to fill the in the gap on a fixed income.
"It's going to be a struggle for all of us, but hey you've got to do what you've got to do," said Hicks.
Chattanooga Housing Authority employees met with residents Thursday.
On its website, they say residents can choose a section-8 voucher or move into another property where space is available.
All residents will be relocated by April.