Knoxville/ Politics & Govt
AI Assisted Icon
Published on April 03, 2024
Knoxville Commemorates 50 Years of Transformative Community Development Block Grant ProgramSource: w_lemay, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Knoxville is celebrating a golden milestone this week with festivities highlighting 50 years of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, a pivotal federal funding source that has rejuvenated neighborhoods and aided residents in need since its inception. The city's Housing and Neighborhood Development Department, along with other communities across the country, honors National Community Development Week from April 1 to April 5, as noted on the city's official website.

A unique show of dedication will be exhibited on April 3, when staff from the department, including Director Kevin DuBose, will volunteer with the Knoxville Leadership Foundation’s Operation Backyard program to construct an accessible ramp for locals hampered in mobility, showcasing one of the practical uses of the CDBG funds "to support low- to moderate-income neighbors," according to DuBose in a statement obtained by the official Knoxville website.

The city has been a beneficiary of this federal program since 1989, directing the revenue to address minor and emergency home repairs, accessibility improvements specifically, helping a considerable number of households—4,268 from 2002 through 2022—with services heavily focused on seniors and those living with disabilities. This impact speaks volumes about the role of CDBG in fortifying the living conditions of Knoxville's vulnerable demographics.

In engaging with the community and guiding the future use of these funds, residents are offered a glance at the 2024 Draft Annual Action Plan with the city encouraging feedback through online survey, email correspondence or in-person discourse at a public meeting to be held on April 23 at 5:30 pm, at the Public Works Service Center located at 3131 Morris Avenue, where city staff will present the plan which directs the allocation toward affordable housing and other critical community development activities starting from July 1, 2024.

The City’s Housing and Neighborhood Development Office does not solely rely on the CDBG funds, it also administers various programs to boost housing for lower income homeowners, aid the homeless, promote workforce development and energize economic upliftment in poorer neighborhoods. These initiatives, designed to resurrect rundown properties and aid entrepreneurial ventures in economically challenged corridors, outline the comprehensive strategy Knoxville employs to foster equitable growth.

Knoxville’s commitment to share the successes and stories of the CDBG will be showcased on their social media throughout the year, as part of a broader effort to both celebrate and educate on this vital program's legacy. For further details about Knoxville's usage of CDBG monies or to enquire about other developmental services on offer, the Housing and Neighborhood Development Office invites residents to visit or ring up at 865-215-2120, as noted on the city's news release.