MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Officials with the Department of Housing and Urban Development confirmed the agency would start sending notification letters to families at the Peppertree Apartments on Friday, January 20th about their relocation.

The notification letters are an initial step as leaders say the process could take months.

Peppertree tenants to be moved amid ‘dire’ homeless situation

The relocation comes after HUD terminated its contract with Peppertree’s owner. Recent court filings show the effective date of the contract abatement is January 31st. The same filings reveal the basis for HUD yanking its contract with Peppertree was two, failed REAC inspections and “failure to fix the deficiencies identified in those inspections”.

Inspectors were on site at Peppertree when walkway collapsed, records show

HUD’s most recent, 10 year contract with Peppertree was signed in December of 2021. It was worth roughly $2.3 million per year and scheduled to run from 2022 until 2032.

The NewsChannel 3 Investigators learned the owners received approximately $22 million dollars for housing assistance payments since 2012.

Residents will receive tenant protection vouchers to move, but must qualify. HUD says qualified tenants should begin receiving vouchers within the next 60 days.

HUD has hired a private, relocation contractor, Leumas, to assist tenants. It will also be working with the Memphis Housing Authority.

HUD says it plans to schedule resident meetings, but didn’t tell WREG when the first one would take place. The agency previously told the NewsChannel 3 Investigators the meetings would likely begin in February, and be led by Leumas.

According to court records, HUD says during the abatement process, it can use funds that would have been paid to the owner to help in the relocation process. This includes providing funding to MHA to issue vouchers to the residents.

WREG recently spoke with residents who say they feel like they’ve been left in the dark about the process.

The NewsChannel 3 Investigators asked a HUD spokesperson who residents can currently call if they have questions about the pending relocation.

The spokesperson said “HUD is in the process of contracting with an entity who will answer all relocation questions. TESCO’s is currently managing the property until the abatement date. The contractor should be onboard in the near future.”