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“It’s just beautiful:" New affordable housing complex welcomes Gatlinburg residents

It’s been a big problem for Sevier County for years, made even worse by the fires of 2016--affordable housing. Now a new complex has opened in Gatlinburg, and it’s full before the grand opening ceremony.
Published: Oct. 16, 2020 at 6:21 PM EDT
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GATLINBURG, Tenn. (WVLT) -- It’s been a big problem for Sevier County for years, made even worse by the fires of 2016--affordable housing. Now a new complex has opened in Gatlinburg, and it’s full before the grand opening ceremony.

Watson Glade, a new 80 unit apartment complex in Gatlinburg, has been in the works for nearly 6 years. It took Devan Lent six months to finally find a place to move to with his two daughters.

“I had to wait a little while. Took about 6 months. We were the first to move into Watson,” said Lent. “It’s just beautiful. The apartments are just beyond my expectations. And the views are great, they just make you feel at home.”

His dream is also affordable. Developers worked through several tax credits from the state, county and city, to save enough money to bring the cost of rent down.

The Tennessee Housing Development Agency helped with the tax credits and pushed the project forward after the 2016 wildfires.

“You can see the quality of the work. This is an excellent example of the kind of thing that we can cause to be built through the housing tax credit program,” said Perrey. “You know we look forward to being continually impactful building more of these kind of units for hard working Tennesseans.”

Sevier County has seven of these projects, but with Watson Glade at 100% occupancy at open, it shows the need for more affordable housing units.

The complex is located on Glades Road in Gatlinburg and is on the trolley line which will help Gatlinburg’s tourism workers to into town for their jobs.

“If it wasn’t for these guys, we wouldn’t be able to move here and be able to have this dream that we’ve had to live somewhere safe for our children,” said Lent.

Because of the company using the tax credits the rent has to stay low for 30 years. A one bedroom starts at $595 a month.

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