KCDC opens new affordable housing for seniors in northwest Knoxville

Scott BirdElderly & Disabled

Knoxville’s Community Development Corporation (KCDC) has officially opened its first units at a new affordable housing development in northwest Knoxville.

The Cottages at Clifton, located along Clifton Road near the intersection of Western Avenue and Interstate 640, will provide 53 single-level housing units in 25 duplexes and three single-family homes. Eligible residents at the new development are ages 62 or older and will pay 30 percent of their total income for rent and utilities.

“A primary focus of KCDC is to increase the availability and stability of quality affordable housing for residents in our community, especially among the elderly,” KCDC Executive Director and CEO Ben Bentley said. “The Cottages at Clifton development addresses a specific need in our community, and we appreciate the efforts of our partners who helped turn an underutilized site into viable homes.”

Knoxville’s Community Development Corporation (KCDC) celebrated the official opening for The Cottages at Clifton, a 53-unit affordable housing development for the elderly in northwest Knoxville on Nov. 20. Participating in the ceremony, from left: KCDC Board Chair John Winemiller, Vice Chair Bob Whetsel and board member Robyn McAdoo; Todd Berry of Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati; Knox County Commissioner Carson Dailey; Knoxville Vice Mayor Finbarr Saunders; Knox County Commissioners Charles Busler and Evelyn Gill; KCDC Executive Director and CEO Ben Bentley; Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero; Knoxville City Council members George Wallace and Seema Singh; KCDC Vice President of Redevelopment/Legal Services Brad Peters; Knoxville City Councilmember Lauren Rider; Tennessee Housing Development Agency housing program manager Bill Lord; Clayton Rutledge General Manager Marty Mansfield; and Shuler Crew Construction President Benjie Shuler.

Four units currently are complete. Additional units will be completed in December, with the balance anticipated to be completed in January. Residents for the units will come from KCDC’s current waiting list of 43 elderly people and from more than 400 preliminary applications.

The development will be owned by Knoxville’s Housing Development Corporation (KHDC), a wholly owned instrumentality of KCDC. The 7-acre site previously was owned by the City of Knoxville, which donated the vacant property to make the project financially feasible.

The $5.9 million project also includes a $900,000 grant from the Tennessee Housing Development Agency’s National Housing Trust Fund; $940,000 from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati’s Affordable Housing Program, sponsored by Home Federal Bank of Tennessee; $1.2 million from the City of Knoxville’s Affordable Rental Development Fund; and a low-rate loan from Home Federal Bank of Tennessee.

“Increasing the availability of affordable housing has been a major goal of my administration, so it made sense to donate the vacant land and provide additional funding to help make the development work financially,” Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero said. “KCDC has been a committed partner in our housing goals, and it’s exciting to see these beautiful new homes on Clifton Road opening for our community’s seniors.”

Construction on the site began in early 2019. Once grading and foundations were complete, the modular housing units, built by local off-site home builder Clayton Rutledge, were delivered to the development and set on the foundations. The classic design of the homes complements the surrounding neighborhood.