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VOL. 115 | NO. 170 | Wednesday, October 10, 2001

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By JENNIFER MURLEY

$2 million in grants bolsters CDCs

By JENNIFER MURLEY

The Daily News

Sixteen local community development corporations got a much-needed shot in the arm Tuesday when city officials distributed more than $2 million in grant awards to boost neighborhood redevelopment initiatives throughout the city.

Before a packed City Hall chamber brimming with whos who in local community housing, Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton opened the award ceremony by reminding the crowd of a campaign promise in which he vowed to devote his current mayoral term to revitalizing neighborhoods.

Great cities are comprised of strong vibrant neighborhoods, he said. Today is a down payment, and a down payment means there is more to come.

The funding, part of Housing and Urban Developments set-aside HOME dollars, is being allocated through the citys Non-Profit Housing Center as part of the mayors Redevelopment Partnership Program.

Robert Lipscomb, Memphis Housing Authority executive director, and the office of Housing and Community Development, presented six new CDCs recently designated as Community Housing Development Organizations with individual $100,000 awards to be used toward administrative and project development costs over the next two years.

While most CDCs are non-profit organizations, to be considered a CHDO, which enables them to compete for federal HOME funds, they must meet additional federal guidelines, which include providing affordable housing to their stated community.

HOME is one of the largest federal block grants to state and local governments designed to create affordable housing for low-income households. Each year, it allocates more than $1 billion among the states and hundreds of localities nationwide.

The 2-year-old Frayser CDC was the first CHDO to publicly accept its award Tuesday. The award was the largest grant it received to date, said Quincy Jones, Frayser CDC executive director.

This gives us a lot of experience to, in the long run, acquire more funding, Jones said. While his immediate focus will be on determining the guidelines for appropriate use of the grant money, he said the organization would eventually use the funds for housing development.

As far as our long-term goals go, we plan to develop some duplexes, he said, referring to two units in his district pegged for upcoming redevelopment.

Carmen White, a Frayser CDC board member accompanying Jones, said she hopes the community itself would ultimately reap the benefits from the money.

We have lots of major things going on, she said. I just want (the money) to be used in housing and education.

Karen Tyler, an attorney with Memphis Area Legal Services, was on hand to represent Riverview-Kansas, another newly designated CHDO that received a $100,000 grant award.

Like the Frayser CDC, Tuesdays award represents the heftiest grant ever received by the 3-year-old Riverview-Kansas CDC, which has until now been run solely on a volunteer basis, Tyler said.

We need to hire an executive director, she said. That will be our first thing.

By using the grant money to establish a solid, full-time CDC staff, Tyler said the organization can then focus on securing funds to promote affordable neighborhood housing, as well as social and economic development within the community.

Other newly designated CHDOs to receive $100,000 awards were Glenview CDC, Hyde Park/Nevets, New Chicago CDC and North Memphis CDC.

Awards ranging from $50,000 to $280,000 were distributed to established CHDOs across the city for uses, which include administrative, project development and economic development. CHDOs receiving the grants were Cooper-Young CDC, LeMoyne Owen, Memphis Area Neighborhood Development Corp., Neighborhood Housing Opportunities, Orange Mound CDC, Project H.E.L.P.I.N.G., The Works, Inc., VECA CDC, Whitehaven CDC and South Memphis Alliance, and Douglass, Bungalow & Crump.

RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 51 223 1,152
MORTGAGES 55 189 861
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 10 30 129
BUILDING PERMITS 149 541 2,593
BANKRUPTCIES 24 120 581
BUSINESS LICENSES 14 65 264
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 0 0