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Editorial


Front Page - Friday, March 3, 2017

City grants funds for affordable housing units




The Chattanooga City Council has approved a plan from the Department of Economic & Community Development to administer more than half a million dollars in federal funds for the creation of 16 affordable housing units in neighborhoods across Chattanooga.

These funds from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development are designated under the HOME program, which generates affordable housing for low-income Chattanoogans.

“Thanks to the hard work of our local partners and dedicated ECD staff, we have made progress in creating affordable housing options in Chattanooga. But there is more work to be done,” says Mayor Andy Berke. “Through city initiatives that increase our affordable housing stock and decrease blight, to getting the most out of every federal dollar we receive, we will continue to work hard to ensure affordable, quality housing options for more Chattanoogans across our city.”

Every year, the ECD accepts applications, reviews developer’s plans and approves projects to receive HOME funding to create more affordable housing for low-income Chattanoogans. Projects approved in this first round of funding this year are in Districts 7, 8 and 9 in Chattanooga and will create housing for 16 low-income households for families of four that are earning $36,720 or less.

“Community Development is dedicated to the revitalization of low-to-moderate income neighborhoods and the economic improvement of its residents,” says Sandra Gober, manager of Community Development, a division of ECD. “Having partners who are committed to affordable housing and their community is so important as we continue to fill in the gaps in our housing stock and provide more options for our citizens who are living on a lower income.”

Projects receiving funding in this round are in the Alton Park, Avondale, Ridgedale and Oak Grove neighborhoods. Of the 16 units receiving HOME funds, Chattanooga Neighborhood Enterprise, which builds homes and revitalizes neighborhoods in historically underserved parts of the city, is building eight affordable rental units in the Ridgedale Neighborhood.

“CNE looks forward to continuing its longstanding partnership with the City of Chattanooga,” says Martina Guilfoil, president and CEO of Chattanooga Neighborhood Enterprise. “We are excited to marry our Missing Middle housing prototype with eight new affordable housing units to the Ridgedale neighborhood.”

During the process to grant HOME funds, the ECD looks for community partners who use creative ways to improve neighborhoods and the housing stock in Chattanooga and who can assist in increasing the supply of decent and affordable housing. Applicants for HOME funds can be both for profit or nonprofit but are required to keep the housing affordable for low-income families.

HOME funds are used only for acquisition, rehabilitation and new construction of housing or tenant-based rental assistance. The housing is reserved for people who are low income, which also serves citizens with special needs such as homeless, seniors, veterans or people living with disabilities.

The City Council approved a resolution authorizing ECD to administer the HOME funds for a total amount not to exceed $635,000 to build the 16 affordable housing units in Chattanooga. The city funds – in the form of grants from HUD – are provided only as gap financing that the developer does not have available from other sources, and the funding is limited to half of the construction or renovation cost per unit.

Source: City of Chattanooga