State officials and local leaders joined Aid to Distressed Families of Appalachian Counties in Oak Ridge on Thursday afternoon to help cut the ribbon on a newly renovated home located in the city’s Highland View neighborhood.
The formerly blighted and vacant home was rehabilitated with the help of a $67,410 Housing Trust Fund grant the Tennessee Housing Development Agency awarded ADFAC in 2015. ADFAC obtained the property on Wainwright Road through a donation.
THDA Executive Director Ralph Perrey told those attending the ribbon cutting that it was important for the state to recognize innovative work being done to improve access to affordable housing.
“This project is exactly the kind of work that our Housing Trust Fund grant program was created to assist,” Perrey said. “We are glad to work with partners like ADFAC who continue to have a positive impact on the communities they serve.”
ADFAC used the funding from THDA and additional matching grant to correct health and safety hazards and bring the house up to code, a THDA press release said.
ADFAC Affordable Housing Program Director Cindy Ross said the THDA grant was necessary to have the project move forward.
“We appreciate THDA for providing funding that helps ADFAC truly meet the needs of low income residents in Oak Ridge,” Ross said. “By securing this HTF grant, we were able to take a home sitting vacant and restore it into a quality, yet affordable, rental home.”
The home, which will be ready for occupancy in coming weeks, is being used to try an ADFAC-administered rental program that will provide eligible families with updated, energy-efficient, and affordable homes, the press release said.
“ADFAC’s Affordable Housing Program wants to provide quality solutions to housing issued faced by local residents,” Ross said. “Over the past 29 years, we have focused solely on homeowner occupied rehabs and helping people become new homeowners. In order to meet the diverse needs of our community, it was time for us to include quality, safe, and affordable rentals as one of those solutions.”
Although the home will start off as a rental, Ross said ADFAC plans to convert it to an affordable homeownership property once the grant’s compliance period has finished.
Ross said ADFAC also plans to rehabilitate other properties located in the immediate neighborhood.
“We intend to seek out other properties in the area that may be available and need rehabilitation, so we can help restore this neighborhood to its fullest potential,” she said.
The Housing Trust Fund, or 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, the press release said.
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, the release said.
Do you appreciate this story or our work in general? If so, please consider a monthly subscription to Oak Ridge Today. See our Subscribe page here. Thank you for reading Oak Ridge Today.
Copyright 2016 Oak Ridge Today. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.