MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Some Peppertree Apartment residents are being forced to find a new place to live after the crime-ridden Whitehaven complex is declared a public nuisance.
Peppertree is a federally subsidized apartment complex that was built back in 1972.
As part of the nuisance action, Peppertree is not allowed to let new tenants move into the complex or let existing residents renew their leases.
Kim Young and her three young children have only lived at the Peppertree Apartments for about six months.
“I’m ready to leave. I just told my mom I’m ready to leave,” she said.
She said during that time, her apartment had been burglarized, and the windows of her home shot out twice.
“I’m to the point where I tell my kids to get on the floor. Just lay there,” Young said.
Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich says there have been 120 shootings at the apartment complex over the last year, two murders, around 50 assaults, and there have been numerous calls about guns, fights, large crowds, and drugs.
“There is just too much going on over here. I don’t let my daughters go outside,” said Benautica Lee.
The DA’s office said of the 1,000 tenants, more than 90% are women and children.
Benautica Lee is one of them. She told WREG she doesn’t know what is worse, her living conditions or the crime, and she doesn’t want to stay.
“I have time to find someplace else, but even then, it’s hard to find someplace right now,” Lee said.
Connie Huddleston just signed a new lease and has paid several months in advance but said she doesn’t know if it’s worth living at the Peppertree Apartments anymore.
“Every time I turn around, there is a shooting,” said Huddleston. ” I just don’t like living here, but I don’t have a choice because of my income.”
They are expected to release more details next week.