Community Development Week Emphasizes 25 Years of Providing Decent, Safe Affordable Housing

Communications Director

Eric Vreeland
evreeland@knoxvilletn.gov
(865) 215-3480

400 Main St., Room 654A
Knoxville, TN 37902

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News item

Community Development Week Emphasizes 25 Years of Providing Decent, Safe Affordable Housing

Posted: 03/23/2016
The City of Knoxville will mark National Community Development Week March 28 – April 2 with a series of events showcasing projects of the City’s Department of Community Development and its nonprofit partners across Knoxville.

The theme this year is “CDBG: 42 Years of Building Strong Communities, HOME: 25 Years of Providing Decent, Safe and Affordable Housing.” In 1974, the Community Development Block Grant program was created by Congress under President Gerald Ford through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The HOME program was created in 1991 to support the development of decent, safe and affordable housing. 

“As our city grows and the economy strengthens, there in an increase in the demand for housing. In Community Development, we focus resources to strengthen neighborhoods and to improve access to decent and affordable housing for lower-income families,” said Becky Wade, the City’s Director of Community Development. “Community Development Week gives us a chance to highlight the continuing need for housing assistance and services, along with other work of our staff and our local partners.”

The City’s Department of Community Development administers a variety of programs geared toward the revitalization of Knoxville's low- to moderate-income neighborhoods. In order for resources to have the greatest impact, the Department targets its programs to strategic areas.

Those include programs to: improve housing opportunities for lower-income homeowners, tenants and homebuyers as well as assistance to organizations serving Knoxville's homeless population; identify vacant, blighted or problem properties and seek developers to return them to productive use; assist neighborhoods in identifying and solving their own problems; provide training and employment to lower-income citizens and incentivize the creation of jobs and services in struggling commercial corridors. 

Here is the calendar of events for Community Development Week:

TUESDAY, March 29

11 a.m.-1 p.m.: Open House at 1518 Louisiana Ave., across from Lonsdale Park. The home was constructed by East Tennessee Housing Development Corporation, a nonprofit housing partner with the City of Knoxville, and is for sale. It is a three-bedroom, two-bath home that is accessible and Energy Star compliant. Down payment and closing cost assistance for qualified buyers. Refreshments will be served. 

WEDNESDAY, March 30

10 a.m.: “Raise the Roof” at Catholic Charities’ Samaritan Place, 3009 Lake Brook Blvd. The event will celebrate the installation/completion of the roof at Samaritan Place (cost of $70,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds) and to recognize the case management activities (current Homeless Grant contract of $10,000). In recent years, the City has awarded Catholic Charities $28,000 in Emergency Solutions Grant Funds to renovate the kitchen, put in new flooring, and purchase new mattresses and furniture at Samaritan Place.

FRIDAY, APRIL 1

8 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.: "Knoxville Area Fair Housing Conference," The Foundry, 747 World's Fair Park Drive. The Conference is sponsored by the Equality Coalition for Housing Opportunities in association with the City of Knoxville and Tennessee Human Rights Commission. In addition, an awards luncheon recognizing individuals and organizations for their contributions in promoting fair housing and equal opportunity will be held.

• Conference Theme:  "Building Bridges of Equality: One Day at a Time"
• Registration Fee: $65.00
• Conference is open to housing practitioners, human/social service agencies, governmental entities, advocacy groups, neighborhood leaders and the general public.

The conference will end with a walking tour and a visit to Salvation Army, Volunteer Ministry Center and Knox Area Rescue Mission.