Dec. 20, 2016 – Eastern 8 Community Development Corporation is moving forward with plans to revitalize a blighted Kingsport neighborhood with the help of a grant it received from the Tennessee Housing Development Agency.
The $500,000 Housing Trust Fund grant will be used by Eastern 8 to tear down several blighted buildings located off Center Street in Kingsport and replace them with a 12-unit townhouse development. Eastern 8 also has plans for further property rehabilitation in the immediate neighborhood.
The funding was one of five Housing Trust Fund grants totaling over $2.27 million that were recently awarded to projects statewide by the THDA Board of Directors.
“Projects like this one being carried out by Eastern 8 make a positive impact on the neighborhoods they are located in by providing much-needed affordable housing,” THDA Executive Director Ralph M. Perrey said.
Eastern 8 Executive Director Retha Patton said the nonprofit worked closely with Kingsport officials to focus on areas of the city that were in need of blight elimination.
“The City of Kingsport identified this key location as a targeted blighted area for redevelopment,” Patton said. “The project site includes four abandoned/blighted structures that will be demolished as a part of this project and redeveloped with the new construction.
“We are so excited to finally be able to begin this project and working closely in partnership with the City of Kingsport, to provide much-needed affordable housing units within the City and assisting with redevelopment efforts.”
Patton said the dozen townhouse units will consist of a mix of 2- and 3-bedroom apartments. All units in the development will also be energy efficient in an effort to control utility costs for tenants, she added.
In addition to removing blighted structures, Patton said the development will also include features designed to strengthen the sense of community for residents who live there.
“The City is partnering with the project to provide a unique water-holding cistern covered by a pervious surface to accommodate a parking area, along with a hand pump to allow access to water from cistern for tenant usage for planned raised bed community gardens on site,” Patton said.
In addition to THDA, Patton said other partners in the project include the Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati and their member bank Bank of Tennessee, as well as the Northeast Tennessee/Virginia HOME Consortium.
The Housing Trust Fund (HTF) was created by the THDA Board of Directors to provide financial support for innovative, affordable initiatives that serve the housing needs of Tennessee’s must vulnerable residents.
Funding for the Housing Trust Fund comes entirely from earnings generated through THDA’s Single Family Mortgage program. HTF grants are awarded through a competitive application process. Since 2006 THDA has provided over $60 million in HTF grants to local governments and nonprofit organizations across the state.