Community Development Block Grant
Success Stories

Chattanooga, TN - Mayor Jon Kinsey

Habitat Square

Habitat Square, a holistic neighborhood under development in Chattanooga, is the product of a public-private partnership among Habitat for Humanity of Greater Chattanooga, the City, and numerous volunteers and organizations representing all of the area's banks, Oprah's Angel Network, churches, vocational education schools and institutions, private foundations and major corporations.

Twenty homes are being constructed on a four-acre tract which was remediated and donated by the City; the three- and four-bedroom homes are for residents with incomes below $12,000 per year in families with four or more members. The City is providing sewer and water connections and improvements, is paving and providing maintenance of alleyways, and is making other property improvements in older, established neighborhoods which surround Habitat Square. As a result of this investment by the City, business expansions and commercial investments in the area are on the upswing.

Habitat Square has a greenway which is shared, and owned, by homeowners; this creates a backdoor recreation and leisure activity area. Two paved, lighted and landscaped alleyways run parallel to the rear of the homes; these are used for mail delivery and trash and refuse pick-up, and provide access to residence driveways and parking.

In preparation to allocate CDBG funds for the project, the City assisted in preliminary design activities, coordinated the environmental review and assessment, developed design concepts for the best pedestrian walkway and lighting alternatives, and provided technical assistance - through City departments - in the planning and implementation phases of the project.

A $92,500 CDBG grant provided improvements in sidewalks, lighting and landscaping. Overall, more than $700,000 has been leveraged for the project.

Most of the 20 homes have been completed - all will be completed by mid-1999 - and are occupied by families of mixed ethnic backgrounds with members of all ages; included are single parents as well as grandparents raising second generation children in their homes. The residents have formed a homeowners' association and play an active role in shaping future developments in their new neighborhood.

Contact: Juliette Thornton, Director, Planning and Program Development, (423) 757-0022

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The United States Conference of Mayors

J. Thomas Cochran, Executive Director
1620 Eye Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006
Telephone (202) 293-7330, FAX (202) 293-2352

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