THDA announces emergency grant to help homelessness in Cleveland
by State Rep. Kevin Brooks
Mar 04, 2013 | 541 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Tennessee Housing Development Agency, which administers the federally-funded Emergency Solutions Grant program, recently awarded $2.75 million in ESG funds to local governments and nonprofit organizations across the state.

The city of Cleveland received an ESG in the amount of $107,456 which will be used for shelter activities and Homeless Management Information Systems.

In this tight economy, it is very gratifying that our local needs are being met. Demetrius Ramsey, executive director of the Bradley/Cleveland Community Services Agency which operates the Cleveland Emergency Shelter, has had a distinguished career in helping others. I am thrilled that this grant continues his lifetime of service leadership.

Obviously, these are the kind of announcements that our Bradley County legislative delegation is pleased to send back home to our friends and neighbors.

According to THDA’s 2012 Housing Needs Assessment, more than 9,000 people are homeless on any given night in Tennessee. About half of those who were homeless suffered from mental illness or substance abuse issues, and another quarter were considered chronically homeless. Veterans comprise 14 percent of the total homeless population.

ESG funding can be used for the following purposes or activities:

n Cover expenses for operating emergency shelters and transitional housing facilities;

n Increasing the number and quality of emergency shelters and transitional housing facilities;

n Social services;

n Street outreach services and initiatives; and

n Re-housing assistance for those facing homelessness or who have recently become homeless.

The grant became effective March 1 and will run through Feb. 28, 2014.

THDA is a political subdivision of the state of Tennessee. It was established in 1973. THDA is the state’s housing finance agency, responsible for selling tax-exempt mortgage revenue bonds to offer affordable mortgage funds to homebuyers of low and moderate incomes through local lenders, and to administer various housing programs targeted to households of very low, low and moderate incomes.

THDA made its first mortgage in 1974. It has provided affordable fixed-rate mortgages to more than 107,000 households without using state tax dollars. The total contribution of the THDA-related activities to Tennessee’s economy in 2011 is estimated at $728.6 million.

THDA issues between $250 and $300 million in mortgage revenue bonds annually for its first-time homebuyer program.

THDA created the Tennessee Housing Trust Fund in 2006, using state, THDA and locally generated matches to support programs for households of very low income, elderly and special needs populations.

More information about THDA is available online at


(Editor’s Note: State Rep. Kevin Brooks, R-Cleveland, represents the 24th Legislative District in the Tennessee House of Representatives. He and his wife, Kim, have two children — Zach and Elizabeth — who are students enrolled in Lee University and Cleveland High School respectively. The family remains strongly involved in a variety of community activities in Cleveland and Bradley County).