UPDATE: State, city leaders reach out to residents of Lookout Mountain Suites
UPDATE: Since announcing it's closing for renovations the following is a statement from Lookout Mountain Suites' management and owner:
"For many years, Lookout Mountain suites has had the pleasure of providing economical lodging for its patrons. However, Lookout Mountain Suites will cease operations on March 12, 2019 due to non-profitability. The costs of renovation and upkeep consistently outpaced occupancy. Management greatly appreciates State Representative Hakeem's efforts to assure current tenants future lodging."
PREVIOUS STORY: Nearly 200 people are searching for new homes after the owner of Lookout Mountain Suites on South Broad Street told residents they are closing for renovations.
Thursday, state representative Yusef Hakeem told residents that city organizations will do everything they can to help them find housing.
Pamela Riley told Channel 3, she moved to Lookout Mountain Suites a few months ago when a different extended stay hotel closed suddenly. Now, she said she's reliving that experience all over again.
READ MORE | Lookout Mountain Suites closing for renovations, tenants forced to move out
"We're kind of up in the air because this is just sudden, and then we have a month to move,” said Riley. “So, I'm a little worried."
Riley said she was unhappy to get the notice, but not surprised. She said it's almost becoming a part of the routine.
Just last month Chatt City Suites, another extended stay hotel, also closed its doors.
State Representative Yusef Hakeem said this highlights the need for more affordable housing in the city.
“Not only do we have an issue with public housing, but also affordable housing in our community,” explained Hakeem. “This is one of the things that needs to be addressed going forward. Again, this will help us to focus on those basic needs dealing with housing dealing with food and healthcare and other issues.”
Representative Hakeem, city councilman Erskin Oglesby Jr., and a few other leaders from organizations around the city spoke with residents at the motel Thursday, assuring them they would help them find a new home.
"We've tried forever to find regular housing as it is,” urged Riley. “The deposit, the first month, and sometimes first, last, and deposit. It's almost impossible to find something."
Counselors from the Chattanooga Opportunity Center told Channel 3, they are trying to connect residents with resources to help them find more permanent housing.
Hakeem said the motel is a private business, and the owner could have closed the doors right away. So he's happy they at least provided some notice.
However, residents still worry that 30 days isn't enough.
"So many people are having trouble finding housing and being homeless as it is,” said Riley. “So, if they can't find it, how can we all find it?"
Residents have until March 12 to find other housing.
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