JACKSBORO, Tenn. (WATE) — If you rent a place, you’re familiar with rent inflation. For those living at an apartment complex in Campbell County, rising rent is hitting elderly and disabled residents especially hard.
At the beginning of Sept. 1, the monthly rent at a complex in Jacksboro increased nearly 60 percent. The new owner of the apartment building says because his expenses are up, he has to pass on the increase.
Miss Mae and Janie Osborne live at the Indian Mound Apartment complex in Jacksboro. Rent at the 10-unit building has been a reasonable $375 a month. The apartments have about 600 square feet of space.
“It is going to go up to $600, on Sept. 1,” Miss Mae said.
On Aug. 1, Miss Mae and her neighbors received a letter from Esquire Management, their new landlord.
“Well, first I got a knock on the door. This lady, she had a paper. She said, ‘I’m your new apartment manager.’ I said, ‘What?’ It’s awful to raise the rent like that. I said I can’t do it. I won’t be able to pay this. It’s awful, you know,” Miss Mae said.
Osborne is disabled due to a heart condition and receives just over $800 a month. With her rent going up 60 percent in 15 days, she might have to move.
“I love this place, it’s been my home for years. I don’t know what I’m going to do. I mean, it costs to move. Then people are wanting over half of what I got or more,” Osborne said.
The residents were also concerned with making other payments and saving money.
“When you go to the doctor, you get medicine, you buy groceries and you pay the rent. Where is the rest of it? You don’t have any left,” Miss Mae said.
Having to find someone to pack up her household belongings and all that’s in her bedroom will stretch her already small social security check. Miss Mae has contacted LaFollette Housing Authority, which helps seniors and those with low incomes find housing, however, she hasn’t heard back yet.
Esquire Management told WATE that due to rising costs and expenses it is, unfortunately, raising the rent at Indian Mound Apartments. Ameesh Kherani said he believes his residents will find the increase reasonable considering the significantly high inflation rate right now and operating costs for Esquire Management.
“I need more time. I don’t know which way to turn right now,” Osborne said.
Esquire Management says if Miss Mae and others decide not to renew their lease, they will be given more time beyond Sept. 1 to find a new place to live.
“We have to get a place I guess. Find another home, you know,” Miss Mae said.
Rising rental rates hit the elderly and vulnerable hard. With tight fixed incomes, they not only have to find a new place to rent, but they have to arrange the move, which is expensive. This will lead to them having to start all over again.
Lafollette Housing Authority said there is a waiting list, but it depends on the size of an apartment a person needs. The housing authority is aware of Miss Mae’s application and the one that Osborne has filed.
Both residents are expected to hear some information soon from the housing authority.