Facing Development, Families Look For Places To Move

By Kayla Moody

Published 06/24 2014 10:50PM

Updated 06/24 2014 10:54PM

The recent sale of a cluster of Evansville properties will affect at least 12 families living near Highway 41 and Walnut. Last night Evansville City Council members voted to rezone 36 properties on East Walnut, South Kerth, and East New York.

This is part of the area being eyed by D-Patrick Ford as a possible place to relocate to make way for the downtown IU Med School. Tuesday Eyewitness News knocked on all 36 of those newly rezoned properties. We found out 12 of them are occupied, 10 are vacant or appear unoccupied, and 14 of the properties are empty lots. Most people living in the area are renters whose landlords have given them until August to move out. Many of the affected families tell us they're scrambling to find a place to move.

"Where are all these people supposed to go? You know and they say, 'oh you could just rent some place.' It's not that easy," says Theresa Persinger, who has lived on South Kerth for 15 years. Persinger tells us she owned her home but felt pressured to sell after hearing about the incoming development. She says she recently gained foster privileges for her five grandchildren and doesn't know where they will move.

While many of Persinger's neighbors share her fears and frustration, others, like Jerry Herndon, have come to terms with the inevitable. "It's just progress. There's nothing really I can do other than move out," says Herndon. He's called South Kerth his home for the past 14 years but tells us he's already found a new place to rent.

In addition to the properties rezoned at council, we found an additional six rental homes on South Kerth that will be torn down. Four of those are occupied, bringing the total to at least 16 families that will be affected by the demolition of more than 40 properties.

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