Matt Carlson, Habitat executive director, said because the property is donated the entire federal grant — administered by the Tennessee Housing Development Agency and funneled through Cleveland city government — will go toward materials and construction.
He said local Habitat leaders are still crunching the numbers to determine how many new homes can be built with the $402,771 government grant.
“We are blessed that the property has been donated,” Carlson said.
The funds are made available under Title III of Division B of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA). In an earlier meeting, the Cleveland City Council passed resolutions handing over the funds to the local Habitat affiliate.
Resolution No. 2010-82 authorized Mayor Tom Rowland to sign a Subrecipient Agreement with Habitat for Humanity for Phase II of the Century Villlage Housing Development Project and Resolution No. 2010-84 authorized the mayor to sign an amended agreement with Habitat which defines the local organization as a developer. This redefinition satisfies U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) guidelines, thereby making the Cleveland affiliate eligible to participate in the Neighborhood Stabilization Program.
City Manager Janice Casteel described the Neighborhood Stabilization initiative as “an excellent program.” City Council members unanimously approved both Habitat resolutions.
The city’s NSP resolution specifies the grant monies will be used “ ... to purchase seven or more foreclosed, abandoned and/or vacant properties, including properties with houses, in order to build or rehabilitate houses to sell to qualified Habitat for Humanity families.” All impacted properties are to be purchased within 18 months and newly constructed and/or rehabilitated homes are to be sold to eligible Habitat families within four years.
The city’s partnership with Habitat for Humanity benefits low- to moderate-income families.
Habitat is currently constructing three new homes in Century Village which is located on 20th Street adjacent to Blythe-Bower Elementary School. Once these builds are finished, Century Village will have 13 homes. The Habitat development will eventually include 40 houses, not including those on neighboring land made available through the NSP funds.
The local Habitat for Humanity affiliate this year is celebrating its 20th anniversary. In two decades, Habitat crews, thousands of volunteers and partnering sponsors have constructed more than 70 homes in the Cleveland area. More will be finished by year’s end.
In October, the local affiliate will partner with Whirlpool in a 20-day blitz build as part of Whirlpool Building Blocks Cleveland. The site is one of five host communities selected by Whirlpool to construct a company-sponsored Habitat house in 2010. The build will commemorate the local Habitat affiliate’s 20th birthday and the 100th anniversary of Whirlpool.