On Aug. 30, Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero, Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett and community members gathered with Knoxville’s Community Development Corporation (KCDC) and Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA) officials to celebrate the opening of The Residences at Five Points, a three-story, 90-unit affordable housing complex for seniors and people with disabilities.
Located at 2061 Bethel Ave., the new, energy-efficient complex features 84 one-bedroom units and six two-bedroom units. It includes two elevators, laundry facilities and community spaces, such as a meeting room with computer stations. The site also offers green space with a picnic pavilion.
“Today we celebrate the realization of Phase 1 of the Five Points Master Plan and years of input and vision from the leaders and residents of this community,” KCDC Executive Director and CEO Ben Bentley said. “The opening of this complex brings us much closer to achieving the goals of all those who provided valuable input for the Master Plan.”
The Five Points Master Plan guides the design and features of all four phases of the neighborhood’s revitalization. Led by Johnson Architecture, the process included input from residents of the Walter P. Taylor and the Lee Williams developments, along with other community members and stakeholders, to determine how to address community needs and concerns during the $10 million redevelopment.
The Residences at Five Points was funded primarily through low-income housing tax credits from THDA.
“The application process for tax credits is highly competitive,” Katie Moore, THDA industry and governmental affairs liaison, said. “KCDC’s application received the maximum points possible for tax credits because we truly believe that this project meets important needs within this community.”
Additionally, the City of Knoxville has committed $800,000 annually for 10 years to the total Master Plan project for infrastructure improvements. The city included an additional $1.55 million in its 2018 annual budget.
Since 2010, KCDC and the City of Knoxville have invested more than $21 million to replace outdated housing units by building 122 units of affordable housing, which includes the adaptive reuse of the Eastport School as The Residences at Eastport for senior housing.
“The City of Knoxville is committed to a revitalized Five Points that benefits the whole community,” Rogero said. “These new, energy-efficient units are comfortable, accessible and affordable homes for seniors and people with disabilities.”
Another forward-looking aspect of the new development is KCDC’s use of the rental assistance demonstration (RAD) program, created by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in 2012 to help agencies continue their housing mission without depending on federal funds. The program allows public housing agencies to leverage public and private debt and equity to reinvest in public housing stock.
“RAD is the future of affordable housing in Knoxville and Knox County and across the country, and this project is a good example of a successful RAD conversion,” Bentley said. “The program also helps stabilize affordable housing stock, as RAD-converted housing cannot be sold to developers and is permanently affordable to low-income households.”
Burchett also spoke in support of the revitalization project.
“Knox County is proud of everyone involved in this project, and we’re excited to see improvements made to Five Points during this development,” he said.
Work on implementing the Master Plan continues. In May, KCDC broke ground on Five Points Phase 2, a $13 million, 84-unit affordable housing complex to be built at the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue and McConnell Street.
Since 1936, KCDC has been dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for the citizens of Knoxville. KCDC’s mission is to improve and transform neighborhoods and communities by providing high-quality affordable housing, advancing development initiatives and fostering self-sufficiency. For more information, call 865-403-1100 or visit https://www.kcdc.org.