Housing protest held in Amherst

AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – On Friday, a group gathered outside of a local property management company to protest their alleged refusal to preserve low-income housing in Amherst. 22News is working for you to explain the controversy.

It surrounds Eagle Crest Property Management and James Cherewatti, the man who runs it. Protestors gathered outside of the company’s office on Friday holding signs and handing out flyers.

They claim the company evicted low-income tenants from one of their apartment properties called Echo Village. Amherst Town Manager John Musante confirmed that and told 22News that Eagle Crest also refused an offer from an affordable housing developer to purchase Echo Village.

Musante says their still trying to negotiate a way to preserve low-income housing, but if Eagle Crest doesn’t sell, it would mean Amherst would also lose $800,000 in community development block grant money.

Alex Kent of Amherst told 22News, “I would tell them to stop evicting people in Echo Village and to act more responsibly to people who have low income and need to have housing.”

22News called Eagle Crest for their side of the story. We were told “No comment.” We went inside the office and asked to speak to James Cherewatti, but were told he was not available.

Amherst Town Manager John Musante told 22News Eagle Crest bought Echo Village in January of 2013.

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