THDA awards Chattanooga’s AIM Center grant to build new apartments
Aug. 18, 2021 – A grant from the Tennessee Housing Development Agency will help the AIM Center build new affordable apartments near downtown Chattanooga.
THDA Executive Director Ralph M. Perrey joined AIM Center staff, Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly, Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Harrison and U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann at the AIM Center’s offices in downtown Chattanooga on Wednesday to announce the $500,000 National Housing Trust Fund grant. The funding will assist in the construction of AIM Center’s 60-unit Espero Chattanooga project.
“This grant plays an important role in spurring the construction of new affordable housing units,” Perrey said. “Having access to safe, decent and affordable housing is more important than ever and projects like Espero will ensure that more Chattanoogans have access to just that.”
AIM Center Executive Director Donna Maddox said the Espero property will help address the growing need for more affordable housing options in the Chattanooga area.
“We are currently in a housing crisis across our country,” Maddox said. “Every community needs more affordable housing. It is through a collaborative partnership with THDA, the City of Chattanooga, the Vecino Group and the Chattanooga Housing Authority that AIM Center was position to compete and be awarded its first funding for Espero Chattanooga.
“Affordable housing offers the opportunity for people to start a path toward their life goals. Without housing, people are unable to work, be healthy, or live with hope for a better day. Espero Chattanooga offers a path filled with opportunity and hope.”
Maddox said the apartments will be built on land that was donated to AIM Center by the City of Chattanooga. AIM Center is also working with the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office’s FUSE Initiative.
When finished, Espero – which means hope in Spanish – will feature a total of 52 one-bedroom and eight two-bedroom units. 15 of those units will be set aside for residents with mental illness. Rent will be income-based and residents will have access to housing vouchers made available by the Chattanooga Housing Authority.
Maddox said AIM Center will also offer residents supportive and housing services. Apartment units will be American’s with Disabilities Act accessible and feature increased energy efficiency. Plans also call for a community room for residents and a small community garden.
Espero Chattanooga will join 11 apartment properties AIM Center currently operates in the Chattanooga area.
THDA administers the federally-funded National Housing Trust Fund, which is designed for the production and preservation of affordable rental housing through the acquisition, new construction, or rehabilitation of affordable housing for households with extremely low incomes.
NHTF grants are awarded through a competitive application process to Public Housing Authorities and non-profit entities throughout Tennessee.