Six months after Eastern Eight Community Development Corporation cut the ribbon on a dozen new condos for low-income homebound people with special needs those people still do not have cable. That’s about to change thanks to questions raised by city officials, state lawmakers and us.
Tired of waiting for months for cable and internet Angela Taylor reached out to us about the problem. The woman, like most of her neighbors at Parkway Place in Johnson City, has a disability and as a result spends a lot of time at her house. Taylor told us she’s bored and feels overlooked.
“It makes me want to cry,” she said. “It just hurts. It really does hurt. Why we have to wait six months? Why?”
It was never supposed to be this way. Back in May, Eastern Eight Community Development Corporation Public Relations and Marketing Director Chuck Mason says the organization fully expected all of its tenants to have cable the day they moved in.
“We anticipated it to be available on day one,” Mason said. “Even Charter cannot explain to us what was going on.”
When we asked Charter Communications to clear things up, a spokesperson told us the company received late notice about the Parkway Place project.
“Charter became aware of the Parkway Place project after construction was nearly complete,” Charter Communications Regional Communications Director Patti Michel said. “Charter considers a multitude of projects on a regular basis. Once we learn of a project, we conduct a feasibility assessment. Once that assessment is completed, construction costs are estimated. Potential projects take time to review and we move forward on those that are sound business decisions.”
Mason disputes Charter’s claim that the organization gave it last-minute notice. Regardless, while we questioned Charter on behalf of the people living at Parkway Place, Eastern Eight asked city officials and state lawmakers to get involved.
Eventually we all received a similar response from Charter. A company spokesperson told us people at Parkway Place should have cable by November 30th.
We also obtained an email sent from a Charter representative to Sen. Rusty Crowe’s office, acknowledging the project slipped through the cracks.
“The project did slip through the cracks,” Michel later told us. “However, we anticipate completing construction by November 30 and look forward to providing service (to) residents.”
For someone like Taylor who already feels marginalized by society, the entire situation was painful.
“(It makes me) sad,” she said. “Just really left out.”
Thankfully, by next Monday she can finally move on.
“I can watch TV,” she said. “Oh yes! Cooking channels. Yes! It’s awesome!”
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