Foothills CDC receives $500,000 housing grant for Blount County

The Foothills Community Development Corporation has been awarded a $500,000 HOME grant from the Tennessee Housing Development Agency.

The announcement was made last week by State Sen. Doug Overbey, Rep. Art Swann and Rep. Bob Ramsey that the Blount County affordable housing organization would receive the grant, the fourth the agency has been awarded in the past few years, totaling almost $2 million.

“I am pleased that these grants will be made available to citizens in our community,” said Overbey. “This money will help the families who benefit by giving them the opportunity for affordable housing.”

The $500,000 award for 2011 is earmarked to promote homeownership in Blount County. The grant will be used to construct 6 homes for qualified families over the next three years. The grant is in addition to $320,000 in HOME grant funds Blount County Habitat for Humanity and $430,000 to Alcoa City to help provide affordable housing to low income residents under a separate grant category.

“Homeownership improves our community in many ways,” said Ramsey. “It influences personal development in many positive, measurable ways. “A home can bring a family together, encourage civic interaction, and promote a sense of safety and comfort.”

Since starting operations in 2005, Foothills CDC has constructed 50 new homes in Blount County, Alcoa and Maryville for low and moderate income families. Currently Foothills CDC is building homes in Norwood Village and Lennox Square Subdivisions. Norwood Village is off Morganton Road near the intersection of William Blount Drive and Morganton Rd. Lennox Square Subdivision borders Montvale Station Road next to Maryville Middle School.

Foothills CDC, a working partner of Blount Habitat, has also provided funds for downpayment and closing costs to assist 30 additional families in becoming homeowners in Blount County.

“I am very pleased our community has received these grants,” said Swann. “These funds will go far to help many local families realize the American dream of owning their own home.”

For information about program qualifications call Kelly Spears at 865-982-8692, ext. 234.

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