Hundreds of Roswell apartment residents could be forced to move - CBS46 News

Hundreds of Roswell apartment residents could be forced to move

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A new luxury apartment could be coming to Frazier Street in Roswell, but that would mean the Frazier Street Apartment complex could be bought out and all of the residents in its 150-unit complex would have to leave.

Resident Kelli Quintanilla has lived in the apartments for the past two years and didn't know about the possibility of having to leave until she tried to renew her lease a few days ago.

"She told me that we would have probably just another year to live here," Quintanilla said. "I was shocked."

Now Quintanilla wants to know where all of the families like hers are going to go.

"Two years, three kids," Quintanilla said. "All of these families - where are they going to go?"

Part of the draw of the Frazier Street Apartments is its affordability - a two-bedroom apartment rents for about $600 a month. But the apartments are also conveniently located next to a bus stop and stores, which Quintanilla said is perfect for many of the residents who are immigrants and either don't have driver licenses or can't afford cars.

Refugee advocate Ralph Parker said the apartment complex is also home to several refugee families because the complex makes it possible for those who are new to the country to sign a lease.

"It has to be in the tenant's name and there's very few apartment complexes that will allow that because they don't have any credit, they don't have any history," Parker said.

Another concern is with children who live in the apartment complex. Maggie DeCan is a local school advocate who is worried that if the children in the Frazier Street Apartment complex are forced to move, they'll have to change schools, too.

"These kids make up a large percentage of our population and they've made so much progress," DeCan said. "There is no affordable housing in the same school district for them to be relocated to. Every time a child changes schools, they lose progress."

Homeowners who live adjacent to the proposed development attended a meeting at Roswell City Hall on Thursday evening, and many of those attendees were in support of the development.

Chris Cassidy, a regional president with Lennar, said the company is waiting for the city to approve a rezoning permit and wouldn't start building until 2014. He hopes that would give residents enough time to find new housing.

"Sometime this summer we'd begin to meet with the residents and we'd put together a relocation and assistance plan to help them plan for the move and continually update them," Cassidy said.

Roswell Mayor Jere Wood said he thinks the development is a good idea for Roswell, but does empathize with renters who would likely be displaced.

"These folks are renting apartments and there are other apartments for rent in Roswell," Wood said. "These people have the opportunity to remain in Roswell."

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