Cayce Homes | Nashville Public Radio

Cayce Homes

India Hunter / WPLN

The grand opening for the Kirkpatrick Park Apartments, the second new residential construction in the “Envision Cayce” plan, was held in East Nashville Tuesday. Some Cayce residents have resettled, but there were many moves before they had a place to call home.

Meribah Knight / WPLN

It’s easier to say what the James Cayce Homes doesn’t have than what it does.

There is no coffee shop. No laundromat. No corner store. No restaurant or café. It’s hard to get a pizza delivered. Sometimes the mail doesn’t make it.

Meribah Knight / WPLN

For the first time, the Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency is running local radio and TV ads, hoping to attract a different kind of tenant than it typically serves.

Meribah Knight / WPLN

The Mayor’s Office is dedicating $500 million toward boosting affordable housing in Nashville, much of which will go toward converting low-income housing into mixed income.

Over the next decade Nashville promises to put $350 million toward the housing authority’s plan to rebuild the city’s aging public housing as a mixture of low, moderate and higher income apartments.

Joe Buglewicz for WPLN

It's more or less human Tetris. Moving families of varying sizes around Nashville’s largest public housing complex so it can be torn down and rebuilt.

That’s because the city made a promise to overhaul the James A. Cayce homes without displacing low income families. And now, the city has the messy job of following through. Dozens of residents are supposed to be moving next month, but many say they’re still waiting on details.

Larry McCormack / The Tennessean

Editor's note: This story was reported in partnership with Nate Rau of the Tennessean.

The Martha O’Bryan Center surprised the East Nashville public housing project that it has served for 70 years in June 2017, when it decided to shutter its longtime preschool and day care program for low-income children.

Joe Buglewicz for WPLN

The last radio story in this series reveals the scope of The Promise, WPLN's special podcast series. Reporter and producer Meribah Knight spent over a year reporting on life in the James Cayce Homes, Nashville's largest public housing complex.

Courtesy of Tonya Shannon

There is a saying in Nashville’s James Cayce Homes: “Get some gone.”

Three simple words that describe the urge, the mission, to move out and start anew, far away from the city’s largest public housing project.

Some do leave. But it's not easy, especially with the city's rising cost of rent. "I mean, half of us, we can't afford to move up out of here. Get some gone," says Big Man, a Cayce resident since 1999.

Julieta Martinelli / WPLN

The relationship between James Cayce residents and Nashville police is a tenuous one. In this story, we explore two defining moments in Cayce: A viral cell phone video of a police officer being assaulted, and the most controversial police shooting in the city’s recent history.

Both were caught on camera. And both reveal the strain between the people who live in Cayce and the people who patrol it.

Joe Buglewicz for WPLN

After Big Man, a resident of Nashville's largest public housing complex, the Cayce Homes, meets his wealthy white neighbors up the hill, a friendship blooms. It's the last thing he expected to happen. For months this house, an imposing white modern structure, had nagged at him. It's very presence threatened his sense of place in this rapidly gentrifying neighborhood.