We are seeing it more and more in cities across the country: Greedy developers infringing on the lives of black and brown people who have lived in neighborhoods for decades, attempting to push them out in order to raise housing costs and make a profit.
In Nashville, Tenn., one determined 94-year-old black woman has said she will fight back against developers who are using bullying tactics to buy her properties from her. Evelyn Suggs told Fox 17 News “I’m not selling nothing!”
Suggs owns several properties in and around Nashville—properties that are highly sought after. As Fox 17 explains:
Property has become so precious in Nashville, some accuse aggressive developers of forcing long time property owners out.
There are at least 187 projects planned in the next couple of years according to the Nashville Business Journal, but they aren’t taking place on this 94 year old land owner’s property. She says “I’m not selling nothing!”
Suggs was in court this week after a developer reported her for code violations—a tactic that is being used by developers who can’t get property owners to sell to them, explained the assistant pastor at Lee Chapel AME, where Suggs worships.
Yvette Tisdale told Fox 17 “They continuously harassing her about the sale of the properties on Jefferson street. She owns five on Jefferson Street and several other properties all around Nashville. They’re using dirty tactics by reporting her to codes for grass, for a car, for a mailbox, anything they can think of.”
Attorney Grover Collins echoed that, saying “If they don’t have the price a developer is wanting to pay, maybe a code violation shows up. Code violations are available for anyone to report.”
According to Fox 17, the problem has gotten so out of control, landowners filed a lawsuit against the city this month to bring an end to the Environmental Court, which developers are misusing to harass landowners. The news station reports that landowners who have received code-violation letters have gotten one a week later from developers telling them that they are aware of the code violations on the property and are willing to purchase it.
Dirty business, indeed.
Suggs told Fox 17 that she isn’t afraid of the developers or their tactics, and she plans to continue to stand her ground.
Good for her.