JACKSBORO, Tenn. (WATE) — Across East Tennessee, rising rent prices are forcing many people to find more affordable apartments. One great-grandmother and her disabled neighbor have received some good news after their rent was raised by 60 percent.
Janie Osborne and Miss Mae were given 30 days to move or sign a new lease at the substantial increase. The women have been given extra time to look for a new apartment. Their apartment manager sent them a letter days after WATE Don Dare’s report on Aug. 16.
For the last week, Osborne has been helping her 94-year-old neighbor Miss Mae pack her belongings. Both women have chosen to move instead of signing a new lease. They live at Indian Mound Apartments in Jacksboro. The 10-unit apartment complex was sold recently and the new owner increased the monthly rent by 60 percent.
In early August, Osborne and Miss Mae said they had been given only 30 days to make arrangements to move or pay $200 more a month in rent. They decided to look for a new place to live. On their limited fixed incomes, neither could afford to remain in their efficiency apartment at a higher rate.
“I love this place, it’s been my home for years. I don’t know what I’m going to do,” said Osborne.
Within days after WATE’s first story on the situation, Osborne and Miss Mae received separate letters. Their landlord is giving them more time to move. The letter establishes a timetable and gives them a month’s free rent. It reads, “We agree to waive your rent for the month of September.”
“Yeah, that’s good, I like that. That is what we wanted to begin with, we wanted more time,” said Miss Mae. “I appreciate the month of September they gave us and no rent.”
“I’m grateful. They gave us an extension until the end of the month,” said Osborne.
However, preparing to move and the uncertainty of where they will live is upsetting.
“I get pretty tired you know, I get pretty tired of packing. I get aggravated that they raised the rent like that and I have to move,” said Miss Mae.
“Unbelievable. I can’t sleep, I can’t eat. I’m having panic attacks, real bad,” said Osborne.
Both Osborne and Miss Mae are eligible for a government-subsidized apartment with the Lafollette Housing Authority. WATE contacted the agency in mid-August and told them about the women and their situation. Both applied for an apartment. We were given permission to break the news to Miss Mae.
“The Lafollette Housing Authority tells me you have been accepted,” said Dare.
“Really? Oh my gosh, oh! Oh my gosh? Oh Really?” said Miss Mae.
The housing authority added that Osborne’s application is being processed and they’re waiting on additional information from her. Miss Mae’s apartment is ready for her to move in.
Miss Mae told WATE that there is a family in Campbell County who will help her move. One downside is Miss Mae said she is going to miss her neighbors but at the same time, she’ll be making some new ones.