Organizers are warning about predatory developers and fake contractors looking to take advantage of North Nashville homeowners hurting from last week’s storm.
They held a community meeting urging people to be cautious of outsiders, and offered tips on how residents can protect their properties and avoid scams. The event was organized by The Equity Alliance, a nonprofit advocacy group.
They were joined by Metro police, real estate agents, and disaster relief officials at Lee Chapel AME Church who say it isn’t unusual for people to prey on storm victims in centralized neighborhoods.
“We always have every disaster someone who starts going around saying they’re from FEMA but they actually aren’t. And trying to get your personal information. So make sure you check their ID,” says Debra Young, a spokesperson for FEMA.
Other tips include taking selfies with contractors and snapping photos of their license plates. Residents were told not to sign papers from strangers, avoid cash transactions, and check for professional business cards, too.
Charlane Oliver, the founder of The Equity Alliance, also told residents they shouldn’t sell their properties if approached by a buyer.
“We do not want them to sell because we know that there is money to be made in land ownership,” says Oliver. “Home ownership is one of the best ways to build generational wealth.”
Oliver says this is especially important for black homeowners in North Nashville who want a piece of the city’s growth.
“We know North Nashville won’t be rebuilt overnight or even over the next few months,” says Oliver. “We’re committed to making sure that the homeowners get what they need. And making sure that the Metro government keeps the redevelopment equitable in this area.”