SMYRNA, Tenn. (WTVF) — Are grandmothers and grandfathers getting pushed out of Nashville? That’s how Norma Upshaw’s family feels after their search for a new, affordable apartment for the 79-year-old.
“If we start displacing seniors, and without affordable housing, they’re going to be the next population of homeless faces that you see,” said Karen Holder, Upshaw’s daughter.
At her age, Upshaw didn’t picture herself advocating for more affordable housing options in Nashville. Nonetheless, after her senior community in Madison was sold and all the residents forced to move away, that’s exactly what she is doing.
“We are the foundation that you build on, so if your foundation is not there, you are going to crumble really,” said Norma Upshaw.
Upshaw’s family is helping her settle in to the apartment they found 40 minutes away in Smyrna.
“To take senior citizens away from their sense of community, sense of family — it is very, very difficult,” said Danielle Cotton, her granddaughter. “It has been a very hard, emotional process for my grandmother.”
They had no luck in Nashville finding housing options for seniors with a fixed income.
“The majority were requiring 2.5 times the rent which disqualifies my mother automatically,” Holder said.
Upshaw’s relatives think landlords should be required to give seniors a longer notice than the 60-days she was.
“It’s a crisis. If you continue to displace seniors like this, you’re going to have a tsunami of homelessness with seniors,” Holder said.
State law requires landlords to give residents a 30-day notice if they have to move. Madison city council member Tonya Hancock is asking state lawmakers to consider requiring longer notice for seniors.
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