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Weekend edition October 29, 2021 | Kailyn Lamb

Knoxville’s Community Development Corporation earns state and federal grants for Austin Homes redevelopment

By Kailyn Lamb, Marketing Content Writer and Editor, PYA

This week, Knoxville’s Community Development Corporation (KCDC) announced that Southeastern Housing Association (a partnership between KCDC and Knoxville Leadership Foundation) had received a $900,000 grant from the Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA). This grant will go toward the Austin Homes redevelopment, a project with more than 100 new housing units for low-income individuals, according to a news release from KCDC.

“The additional funding will help support 153 new housing units in the Austin Homes community,” KCDC Executive Director and CEO Ben Bentley said in the release. “Our redevelopment team has been able to submit strong and successful applications to expand affordable housing options near downtown Knoxville.”

Construction on Phase 3 will begin in 2022.

The THDA gave out seven grants this year, with a total of nearly $5 million. Four of them went to projects in East Tennessee, including Putnam, Hamilton, and Washington Counties. Learn more in this news release.

This is the second grant the Southeastern Housing Association announced this month, after also being awarded $7.5 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). According to a news release from KCDC, the organization was the only grantee in Tennessee to receive a HUD award.

The HUD funding was from the Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly Program and will be used for 50 supportive housing units for seniors in the Austin Homes project that are included in the 153 units in Phase 3.

“This collaboration with KCDC will enable both of our organizations to follow our missions of providing stable housing and establishing healthy communities,” said Chris Martin, President of Knoxville Leadership Foundation, in a news release on the HUD funding. “It is a testament to everyone’s commitment that Knoxville became a recipient of this grant.”

The Austin Homes project is nearly 23-acres and is located east of downtown Knoxville. The neighborhood was established in 1941. The master plan was developed after conversations with residents, community members, and stakeholders. Public meetings for comment began in Early 2019. Visit the KCDC site for updates on the project.

Phase 1 of Austin Homes included 105 units, while Phase 2 is 180 units. KCDC was also awarded a $500,000 grant from the THDA during phase 2 of the project.

“The concerted efforts of KCDC and the Knoxville Leadership Foundation to revitalize neighborhoods with access to safe and affordable housing is to be commended,” THDA Executive Director Ralph M. Perrey said. “The redevelopment of Austin Homes will fundamentally change a neighborhood and the way in which people live, gather, work and interact as a community.”

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