The Homemaker Program has been around more than two decades. Its goal is to turn blighted houses into places families can call home.
Kathy Ellis says the program works like this. The city finds a blighted home and either purchases or condemns it. After, it looks for someone who will flip or fix the home. The right person is then contracted to fix up the home in a year's time. If they fail, Knoxville has the right to buy it back.
Courtney Coffey's house is one of the program's success stories. The city took ownership of the property years ago. A house flipper bought the structure and turned it into a home.
"It's actually a lot of fun. I had a neighbor put some pictures on the doorstep of what it was before. And I know it was condemned by the city and there was a fire in the back. It's a lot of fun to look at the pictures and have them hung up. And to see the transformation that it has gone through," said Coffey.
A home on Forest Hills has become a concern to one of the neighbors.
The city took over the property at 514 Forest Hills Blvd more than two years ago. At the time, neighbors were worried about the structure's condition. There were rats, raccoons, and opossums living in the home. Ellis said they had to have haz-mat crews remove the animals.
Last February, the property was purchased.
"The house in Forest Hills was vacant for more than 25 years. We purchased the property, we didn't negotiate the sale. We purchased it from the owners. We were lucky enough to have someone come forward and take this huge endeavor for rehab," said Ellis.
But some in the neighborhood are concerned that the rehab is taking too long.
"We have had some complaints from the neighbors saying there is some run off causing an issue for a neighbor that lives below," said Ellis.
Part of the deal is that the work must be finished in a year. The property-owners have been granted a four-month extension, giving them until June to finish.
"I talked with that neighbor yesterday as a matter of fact. We're going to get together. We're going to see a general contractor and see what exactly is going on," said Ellis.
We spoke with the owner of the property on Forest Hills. She had no comment at this time about the complaints. All she could say is that people can have their opinions about the construction. And that they are just looking to finish this project.