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More residents move from blighted Foote Homes apartments

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Empty units are boarded up at Foote Homes.

The most recent figures show 205 families out of the 386 granted vouchers have relocated.

That means more than 50 percent found a new place to live.

Memphis Housing Authority Executive Director Marcia Lewis said those still looking are in various stages of their search.

"There may be some who are in an initial phase, they may have just gotten that voucher and are beginning their search. There may be some, they have 60 days, who are well into the search process."

"I'm trying to find a house."

Sandra Gilley didn't want to talk on camera, but she showed us how she's been using the tablet MHA provided to search for a place.

She said the biggest problem is finding a landlord willing to rent to a Section 8 tenant.

And before even moving out of Foote Homes, residents who live in this side of the complex are having to move across the street because this side is being demolished first."

Initial site work begins on the east side in two weeks.

But Lewis said numbers change rapidly.

Approximately 40 families moved before their last weekly update.

She's hoping people like Gilley won't have to relocate twice.

Gilley's looking for house where she can take all of her plants and, more importantly, big enough for her and the two grandsons she's raised since they lost their mother nearly a decade ago.

Her other daughter lives just doors down.

Already boxed up, she's fearful of more crime in her new neighborhood of Frayser.

"We're trying the best we can to help people make the transition. Is it perfect? Not always, and it's not going to be, but where we find their to be issues, we're trying to address them."

Lewis also said the fact that only nine families were left out of more than 300 between Warren and Tulane a couple weeks ago, shows, despite the difficulties, there are options for Foote Homes residents.