Memphis Habitat to Focus on Uptown for Next Two Years

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Memphis has selected Uptown as its neighborhood of choice for 2013 and 2014, with plans to build 50 new homes and rehabilitate 100 properties in the area.

The Uptown project is the first of its kind for Memphis Habitat – a project where the nonprofit affiliate constructs new homes and does repairs on existing properties in a defined neighborhood. Habitat has completed 20 rehabs to date in Uptown.

“Habitat’s core program makes it possible for qualifying families to build and buy a home for the first time. Strategically identifying neighborhoods – ones that appeal to homeowners, volunteers and funding partners – is an important part of that,” Dwayne Spencer, executive director of Memphis Habitat, said in a release. “Over the last year, Memphis Habitat has expanded the scope of our program to include critical rehabilitation in Uptown. Constructing new Habitat homes in that neighborhood was the natural next step.”

The project is funded in part by the Memphis and Shelby County Community Redevelopment Agency, which last week approved an allocation of $1.68 million and a donation of 50 lots to support the two-year home-building and rehabilitation project. These funds are generated by tax increment funding.

To complete the project, Habitat must raise nearly $3 million in additional funds from local foundations and house-building partners, such as companies, faith-based organizations and schools. In an effort to retain local jobs, some homes in Uptown will be built via Habitat’s traditional model with house-building partners and volunteers, and others will be built with subcontractors.