|April 17, 2014 - The City of Knoxville will mark National Community Development Week April 21-27 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 "40 Years of Building Strong Communities," in recognition of the creation in 1974 of federal Community Development Block Grants. The CDBG program was created by Congress under President Gerald Ford through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
"Although we have seen cuts in CDBG funding in recent years, it still helps support vital programs for some of the most vulnerable people in our community," said Becky Wade, the City's Director of Community Development. "Community Development Week gives us a chance to highlight those, 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 strategy areas that are selected periodically.
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; and provide training and employment to lower-income citizens or to assist lower-income citizens in starting small businesses.
Here is the calendar of events for Community Development Week:
MONDAY, APRIL 21
11 a.m.-1 p.m.: Open house at properties at 3425-35 Bishop St., in the Lonsdale neighborhood. These affordable, energy-efficient houses were built by the East Tennessee Housing Development Corporation, a designated Community Housing Development Organization (CHDO).
5:30-7 p.m.: Open house and block party, 3444 Compton St. in South Knoxville, sponsored by Knoxville Leadership Foundation/Neighborhood Housing Inc. This will showcase homes built by Neighborhood Housing, another CHDO.
TUESDAY, APRIL 22
7:30 a.m.: Equity Awards Breakfast at The Standard, 416 W. Jackson Ave. Sponsored by the City of Knoxville, this will recognize nine individuals and organizations for their efforts in housing, disability services and economic development.
9 a.m.: Meeting of the Knoxville/Knox County Homeless Coalition at the L.T. Ross Building, 2247 Western Ave. The meeting will conclude with the presentation of the Homeless Biennial Study, conducted every two years to provide data and insights on the local homeless population.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 23
10 a.m.-2 p.m.: Mission Fair and Carry the Torch Event at the Knoxville Convention Center, sponsored by Volunteer Ministry Center. The featured speaker at the luncheon is author Pat Conroy.
THURSDAY, APRIL 24
10 a.m.: Volunteer Appreciation event at Minvilla Manor, 511 N. Broadway, sponsored by Volunteer Ministry Center.
FRIDAY, APRIL 25
11 a.m.-2 p.m.: Commercial Façade Ribbon-Cutting and Showcase, Gray-Hodges Corporation, 211 Jessamine St. Sponsored by Gray-Hodges and Bittle & Sons, this event will showcase the success of the façade grants program in the Magnolia Avenue Corridor.
4-7 p.m.: Community Development staff will have a table at the "Let's Move!" event at Ashley Nicole Playground, 620 Winona St.