The Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA) recently announced that Knoxville’s Community Development Corporation (KCDC) has been awarded $1.1 million in annual tax credits over a 10-year period, a total of $11 million, for the continued development of affordable housing in the Five Points community.
“The revitalization of Five Points with a focus on affordable housing, community spaces and safe neighborhoods has been and remains a priority for us,” KCDC Executive Director and CEO Ben Bentley said. “The housing tax credits enable us to continue the momentum in implementing the Five Points Master Plan.”
The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) is a credit against federal income tax liability each year for 10 years for owners and investors in low-income rental housing. The credits will allow KCDC to raise private equity for Phase 3 of the Five Points Master Plan.
Designed by Knoxville’s BarberMcMurry Architects and Pittsburgh-based Urban Design Associates, Phase 3 construction is slated to begin in early 2018. It will include 80 one- to three-bedroom units within 28 duplex and triplex buildings designed to reflect the fabric of the surrounding community at Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue and McConnell Street. Phase 3 will also include a new playground and open green space.
The process for approval of the tax credits is rigorous, and qualifying agencies must demonstrate the need for affordable housing in their communities and have a viable plan in place to build new residential units for lower-income individuals and families.
“KCDC effectively demonstrated how low-income housing tax credits will enable development of affordable housing in the Five Points community,” THDA Executive Director Ralph M. Perrey said. “We have worked with KCDC on other phases of the Five Points Master Plan and are excited to see the continued progress in this neighborhood.”
On Aug. 30, KCDC, city and county officials, THDA and other community stakeholders will hold the official ribbon-cutting for The Residences at Five Points on Bethel Avenue, the three-story, 90-unit housing complex for the elderly and disabled. The Residences at Five Points, which includes new sidewalks, energy-efficient construction and other features, marks the realization of Phase 1 of the Five Points Master Plan.
Earlier this year, KCDC broke ground on Five Points Phase 2, an affordable housing complex to be built on the east side of McConnell Street along Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue. Total construction cost is approximately $13 million and will be funded through a combination of low-income housing tax credits from THDA and a low interest Community Investment Tax Credit (CITC) loan from Home Federal Bank. The 10-building, 84-unit development is expected to be completed in the early summer of 2018.
The Five Points Master Plan, led by Johnson Architecture, was developed with years of community input as a guide to replace outdated complexes with modern, energy efficient affordable housing units. This plan builds on previous redevelopment in the area, including the adaptive reuse of the Eastport School as The Residences at Eastport, a 60-unit LIHTC project for elderly.
Beginning in 2009, the City of Knoxville committed $800,000 annually for 10 years to the total Master Plan project for infrastructure improvements. An additional $1.55 million was committed for 2018 in the city’s annual budget. All phases of the Five Points Master Plan will use these funds to upgrade infrastructure, add or widen existing streets and construct new sidewalks to improve walkability and connectivity of housing to the community.
“Five Points is an important community in Knoxville,” Bentley said. “KCDC is proud of the progress to date and looks forward to the neighborhood’s future thanks to the hard work, dedication and commitment of all of our stakeholders.”
Since 1936, KCDC has been dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for the citizens of Knoxville and Knox County. KCDC’s mission is to improve and transform neighborhoods and communities by providing quality affordable housing, advancing development initiatives and fostering self-sufficiency. For more information, call 865-403-1100 or visit https://www.kcdc.org/.