Home | En Español | Contact Us | A to Z 

2000 Best Practice Awards

Best of the Best Winner: Tennessee

Best Practice: Lane Garden Apartments

Quick Action and Community Involvement Help Relocate Displaced Public Housing Residents

Nashville, Tennessee. Through quick response, community education and partnership building, a HUD team and its community partners in Nashville, Tennessee, relocated 186 very low-income families to better and safer affordable housing with minimal stress and cost to residents.

The residents of Lane Garden Apartments, a 212-unit Section 236 housing development, faced relocation when the owner notified them of its intention to prepay the FHA mortgage and opt out of the Section 8 Program. Residents had only six months to relocate, and with a median family income of $6,000 a year the costs associated with

 Brenda Cleaner receiving Best of the Best Award
Brenda Cleaner (c) receiving Best of the Best award from Secretary Cuomo (l) and Deputy Secretary Ramirez (r)

moving were staggering. They needed help finding affordable housing, paying application fees and security deposits, and moving household goods.

The local HUD staff quickly realized that timing was critical and that the incomes of the residents would leave many unable to negotiate the maze of relocation on their own. Aware of the difficulties of relocation and the obstacles posed by having no Federal relocation funds to rely on, the team turned to HUD partners and the community for assistance. Calling on the local housing authority, private landlords, community organizations, churches, charities, rental management agents, and government agencies, these key organizations participated in a briefing on the relocation problem and formed a community resource group to assist the Lane Garden residents.

The resource group sought out the individuals and organizations that needed to be involved in the process. They also worked together: landlords identified all available rental units and were asked to waive application fees for Lane Garden tenants; charities provided financial assistance for very needy residents; church congregations organized to provide transportation so residents could look for new places to live; and social service agencies streamlined their operations and procedures to allow residents to move before the deadline. The team also appealed to the nonprofit owner and the proposed new owner of the property for funds to assist residents with their moves.

The resource group helped residents tackle the hurdles associated with moving on a case-by-case basis. Holding office hours on site and maintaining consistent availability provided residents with easier access to help and information. The constant communication between residents and staff enabled the resource group to address individual problems as they arose.

Progress reports by the resource group kept issues of immediate importance in the forefront and shared the knowledge needed to find solutions to problems of relocation. Having diverse parties involved promoted cooperation. For example, having the new landlords regularly attend meetings and work with the housing authority staff, who inspect potential units and are responsible for issuing vouchers, kept each side informed of the necessary processes and encouraged them to work together.

Acting together, HUD and its community partners issued vouchers, found suitable housing, and physically moved 186 families on schedule. Based on costs paid to relocation contractors for similar services, the service would have cost approximately $465,000 to perform had the community not stepped in to make it happen.

Contact: H. Louise Searles, Phone: (615) 736-5786 Ext.2426
Tracking Number: 2328
Winning Category: Geographic and Program (Community Builder)

Return to Best Practices 2000 Best of the Best Winners

Content Archived: April 20, 2011

FOIA Privacy Web Policies and Important Links [logo: Fair Housing and Equal 

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
451 7th Street S.W.
Washington, DC 20410
Telephone: (202) 708-1112 TTY: (202) 708-1455