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Affordable housing and homelessness targeted in Knoxville's five-year community development plan

"We hope to develop some more permanent housing for homeless individuals, continuing our commercial facade program. "

The city of Knoxville presented plans Tuesday night on its vision to revitalize and address community needs.

The meeting was to held to present information it had gathered and gauge people on community feedback and ideas it had received over the past year from across Knoxville.

Becky Wade, director of housing and neighborhood development in Knoxville, said the city is trying to focus on addressing areas of high community interest such as homelessness, affordable housing, blight remediation and increasing economic opportunities over the next five years by directing federal funds from a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development block grant.

The five-year plan calls for reducing homelessness by incentivizing developers to create more affordable housing, reducing displacement by funding homelessness prevention services, and connecting Knoxville's homeless with resources and rapid re-housing assistance. 

"We hope to develop some more permanent housing for homeless individuals, continuing our commercial facade program. All those things help stimulate the economy, creates jobs focused in redevelopment areas," Wade said.

The plan also is looking to prioritize health services, employment and job training, crime prevention, and substance abuse and addiction services. 

The city said it is still looking for feedback. Wade said anyone wishing to reach out can do so by calling her office at (865) 215-2120 or emailing lrust@knoxvilletn.gov.

The city said it will make information presented Tuesday available on its website here.