Cayce Homes | Nashville Public Radio

Cayce Homes

Joe Buglewicz for WPLN

Nashville has taken a big step forward in its plans to overhaul the city's aging public housing. It involves transferring federal property over to the housing authority itself, which means the city's housing agency now owns the James A. Cayce public housing projects outright — for the first time ever since it was built in 1939.

Meribah Knight / WPLN

It all began with an email.

The subject: Dead Bird at the Legal Department Steps.

The culprit was unknown, but it was likely Lizzie, Darcy or Tux, three cats who hang around the Metropolitan Development Housing Agency's administration buildings in the James Cayce homes. They're fed by staff. They've even been fixed and vaccinated.

Meribah Knight / WPLN

Nashville saw a rise in homicides across the city this year — but some neighborhoods were worse than others. In and around the James Cayce Homes in East Nashville, there were seven murders, the most in 26 years. 

Julieta Martinelli / WPLN

2018 is going to be a big year for public housing. Nashville will be renovating, or planning renovations, for four public housing developments — The James Cayce homes in East Nashville, the Edgehill Homes in South Nashville and the JC Napier and Sudekum apartments, just south of downtown. All together they're home to about 5,000 people. 

Courtesy of MDHA

Nashville's housing authority took a major step toward creating the city's new vision of public housing, which hopes to break up blocks of concentrated poverty with varying levels of income. Metro broke ground Wednesday on a new mixed-income building in East Nashville's James Cayce Homes. Called Kirkpatrick Park, it will be the first of its kind in the neighborhood.

Meribah Knight / WPLN

Friends and neighbors gathered Monday night to memorialize the 16-year-old who was fatally shot in the Cayce Homes on Sunday evening. The vigil was the latest in a year of deadly shootings in the East Nashville public housing complex.

Deberianah Begley was on her porch when the shooting started. When she ran for cover, she was shot and killed by a stray bullet. 

A close friend of the victim's family, Angela Scales, says she is heartbroken over the fact that Begley, an innocent bystander, was killed.

Courtesy of MDHA

Nashville's housing authority has decided to rechristen its largest public housing complex. The James Cayce Homes will eventually become Boscobel Heights.

Meribah Knight / WPLN

In East Nashville's James Cayce Homes, resident Tori Winston, 28, adjusted the eclipse glasses on her young nephew. "Look straight at the sun," she said. "You see that little bitty spot on the sun? That's the eclipse."

The impromptu viewing party had just begun and every step of the way, kids were slack-jawed at what they were seeing in the sky.

Envison Cayce rendering courtesy of MDHA

Nashville has big plans to overhaul its aging public housing. And it won't be cheap — likely to cost billions of dollars and take decades to complete.

It's made possible with a newer federal policy that puts public housing back into the hands of local agencies, allowing them to take out loans on the property.

Meribah Knight / WPLN

Nashville's annual Night Out Against Crime came in the midst of a summer that's seen a dramatic rise in violence. At a park in East Nashville, a neighborhood where shootings are the highest in decades, parents and police gathered for a night of peace.