Disabled and elderly tenants forced out of Savannah apartment complex

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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Hundreds of low-income families are being forced out of their apartments with only a few months notice.

The Chatham Apartments were sold for over 25 million dollars this year in June, and a lot of its tenants are concerned about what their next step should be.

“People are scared to death because they’ve checked around and there’s like a four year waiting list at most of the places, so they’re afraid they are not going to have anywhere to go, and afraid they will be put out on the street,” David Yates a renter at Chatham Apartment stated.

The 14-story building will be displacing 233 units over the next few months. It was purchased by an Atlanta-based real estate investment company. The apartment complex is one of the largest housing properties in Savanna for elderly, disabled, and subsidized-living tenants.

Yates said the renters were promised help, but he said they did not receive it and many of the people do not have the physical facilities to find a place without it.

“Some are just unable to get out of their apartment. So there’s a lot of disabled people here and some, like I say, cannot even get out of their apartment. They don’t know what they are going to do. They’re scared to death. The new owners say they are going to help people find a new place but they’re not. They’re not helping at all,” Yates said.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the median household income in Savannah is below the national average. People in the community are concerned about relocating properties in downtown Savannah due to the limited options.

“If we were trying to provide affordable housing just with public money it would probably never happen at the scale that it needs to happen at,” Martin Fretty, the Director of the Savannah Housing and Neighborhood Services, stated.

The renovations for the building begin in January of 2020. Some tenants said they are moving out right away, and others commented that they have until the end of September, 2020.

The management at Chatham Apartments said they have, “No comment,” at this time.

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