KINGSPORT, TN – Dozens of people who call Lee Apartments home learned Thursday they will have time to move out, as the Kingsport Housing and Redevelopment Authority (KHRA) makes way for new units.
Residents packed into a meeting room, some spilling into the hallway, wondering what the KHRA relocation meeting would entail.
“Everybody had questions,” said resident Anjulia Atkins. “We didn’t know when it was going to happen, how long, if we were going to get a notice like you’ve got to move now.”
KHRA said all Lee Apartment occupants will be given a Housing Choice Voucher.
“Each household will be sitting down with relocation staff, and it’s our responsibility to help find them the appropriate housing that’s comparable for them and that meets the needs of their families,” said KHRA Deputy Director Maria Catron.
Other parts of the relocation plan include giving residents a 90 day notice before being required to move, and relocating senior citizens first, then families, followed by all other tenants.
“We will not do any demolition work or start any construction while folks are here,” Catron said.
As for an exact time frame, housing officials are still waiting for final approvals from HUD – the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
“We hope that we can start the actual relocation of residents in early 2017,” Catron said.
Some of those residents said they felt reassured, after hearing from the housing authority Thursday.
“Everybody does feel better because we know that we are going to have a place to live. We’re not just ‘oh you’re going to have to find somewhere else to go,”’ said Atkins.
KHRA is also providing packing and moving assistance.
Residents can apply to live in the new units, if they are interested and eligible, once construction is complete.
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