RICHMOND HEIGHTS, Mo. (KMOV.com) – An 89-year-old Korean War veteran is losing sleep over an impending deadline that will force him to find a new place to live.
Darde Smith has lived in the same Richmond Heights apartment for more than 40 years but now it is under new ownership. The new owners sent a letter to Smith that stated his lease would not be renewed and that he must vacate the property no later than May 1 because the building requires a full renovation.
Smith told News 4 Investigates’ Chris Nagus that he receives government rent assistance in the form of Section 8. He also said his voucher is issued through the St. Louis County Housing Authority.
Nagus picked up the phone and called the new owners, Big Lou Properties, and a manager told him the building needs new windows, new furnaces and new plumbing. The building will reportedly undergo a major overhaul, meaning walls will be torn out and living there won’t be possible.
Although the building will go market rate, the manager at Big Lou Properties told Nagus he understands Smith’s situation. He also said Smith is a good tenant and he will find him another unit owned by the company in Richmond Heights that will accept a Section 8 voucher.
The manager at Big Lou Properties said the company will help Smith move into the new place, one that will reportedly be in better condition than the one he is leaving.
One of Smith’s close friends is helping him to navigate this process. That friend said Big Lou Properties might have a ground floor unit for Smith, which will be better than the three floor walkup he’s currently living in.