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City of Knoxville, Tennessee
Madeline Rogero, Mayor

For Immediate Release
National Community Development Week
Community Development
March 14, 2008 - The City of Knoxville will celebrate National Community Development Week on March 24-30 with a series of events focusing on home ownership and business development.

“The city’s Community Development Division works every day to help revitalize our low and moderate income neighborhoods,” said Mayor Bill Haslam. “We’re pleased to be able to celebrate the many programs and partnerships that promote sustainable residential and commercial growth in our city. The result is not only new investment but also a new vitality in Knoxville.”

Activities celebrating National Community Development Week include:

  • Tuesday, 2 p.m., March 25 – there will be a groundbreaking ceremony for a new, affordable “green” house at 722 S. Chestnut Street. The city’s Community Development Division and the Knox Housing Partnership (KHP) are hosting the event. This is one of seven new homes that will be built by KHP utilizing federal Empowerment Zone Blighted Property Redevelopment Program and HOME funds. These houses will be affordable, LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified, energy efficient and visitable. LEED homes have lower energy and water bills, reduced greenhouse gas emissions and fewer problems with mold, mildew and other indoor toxins. Visitablity is a design strategy to make homes accessible by persons with disabilities.

  • Wednesday, March 26, from 8:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. – The City of Knoxville will host a Small Business Conference at the Moses Center, 220 Carrick Street. The free conference will feature workshops and speakers focusing on business plan development, marketing techniques, small business initiatives, lender relations and alternative financial options. The city’s Community Development, Community Relations and Purchasing Divisions; the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; SunTrust Bank and the Tennessee Small Business Development Center are sponsoring this event. For more information, contact Joshalyn Hundley at 215-3867.

  • Saturday, March 29 – Saturday, April 5, on Divide Street - City employees will partner with Habitat for Humanity to build a four-bedroom home in the Lonsdale Community. This is part of an effort by Knoxville Habitat for Humanity and 13 covenant partners to build seven homes in seven days in Lonsdale.
The City of Knoxville has an active Community Development Division that uses leveraged funds from city and federal grants to offer a broad array of services either directly or in partnership with other organizations.

Some of those services include:

  • Housing opportunities such as owner-occupied home rehabilitation, minor home repair, and emergency home repair.

  • The city’s Homemaker Program offers vacant lots and lots with substandard structures for sale in order to remedy blighted properties.

  • Increasing homeownership opportunities by offering services like down payment assistance and homebuyer education and financial training.

  • Neighborhood improvement initiatives including an incentive program aimed at enhancing commercial building facades and a blighted property redevelopment program that provides loans for the rehabilitation of blighted properties or new construction on vacant blighted lots.

  • The Office of Neighborhoods acts as a liaison between neighborhood groups and the city.

  • A Fair Housing Program promotes equal opportunity in housing and investigates complaints of housing discrimination in Knoxville.

  • A Disability Services program that promotes accessibility to city services, public meetings, and city facilities and ensures reasonable accommodations for city services.

  • A Homeless Assistance program that provides support in implementing the Knoxville/Knox County Mayors’ Ten-Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness and federal emergency shelter grants to homeless service providers.
The city’s Community Development Division also administers the Empowerment Zone (EZ) program that has, to date, received $25.6 million in federal funds to revitalize a 16-square-mile area within the Heart of Knoxville.

EZ programs include workforce development, brown field redevelopment, small business loan programs, academic support and financial training for youth, cultural heritage tourism, commercial redevelopment in targeted areas, and more.

More information about the City of Knoxville Community Development Division is available at www.cityofknoxville.org/development or by calling 865-215-2120.
For Immediate Release
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