KCDC earns $900,000 grant to support continued Austin Homes redevelopment

Scott BirdAustin Homes Revitalization

The Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA) has awarded Southeastern Housing Association a $900,000 grant to help build 153 housing units in the third phase of Austin Homes redevelopment. Southeastern Housing Association is a partnership of Knoxville’s Community Development Corporation (KCDC) and Knoxville Leadership Foundation.

The grant is made possible through THDA’s Tennessee Housing Trust Fund in a competitive award process. THDA received 11 grant applications from Tennessee agencies and housing authorities and awarded seven.

“The additional funding will help support 153 new housing units in the Austin Homes community,” KCDC Executive Director and CEO Ben Bentley said. “Our redevelopment team has been able to submit strong and successful applications to expand affordable housing options near downtown Knoxville.”

The funds will be used for Phase 3 of Austin Homes redevelopment. Phase 1 includes 105 units with Phase 2 to bring 180 units. KCDC also received a $500,000 grant from THDA to help build the Phase 2 units.

The Tennessee Housing Trust Fund grant must be used for affordable rental housing and address the needs of low-income households. The grant will supplement tax credits and debt and will be focused specifically on developing a portion of units at the site designated for occupancy by extremely low-income residents.

“The concerted efforts of KCDC and the Knoxville Leadership Foundation to revitalize neighborhoods with access to safe and affordable housing is to be commended,” THDA Executive Director Ralph M. Perrey said. “The redevelopment of Austin Homes will fundamentally change a neighborhood and the way in which people live, gather, work and interact as a community.”

The Austin Homes redevelopment master plan has been developed based on months of dialogue with residents, stakeholders and community members in interviews and public meetings.

Nashville-based Southeast Venture and Knoxville-based Johnson Architecture are partnering on the design of the third phase of housing.

Established in 1941, Austin Homes is a nearly 23-acre site located just east of downtown. KCDC is replacing the site’s affordable housing units and adding a mix of housing choices for families and individuals of varied income levels and other appropriate non-residential uses to create a vibrant urban community.

A portion of this project is funded under an agreement with Tennessee Housing Development Agency.