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'Change their futures': Knoxville's Restoration House receives $450K grant

The money will help Restoration House construct six new homes for single-parent families.

The Restoration House of East Tennessee just won a competitive grant, allowing the nonprofit to construct six homes for single-parent families. 

The $450,430 grant, awarded this week, comes from the Tennessee Housing Development Agency.

Restoration House plans to use the grant to construct six new units in The Village, a restorative housing community in West Knoxville.

After construction on the new units is completed, The Village will have a total of 24 units. Restoration House leaders said the community will help 150 local single-parent families over the next 10 years -- including 280 to 320 children.

The Restoration House Executive Director and co-founder Daniel Watson said the funding will allow the nonprofit to support two dozen families at a time, providing an opportunity for long-term change.

“The Village is all about intentional community, it’s about coming alongside single-parent families that are giving everything to change their futures," Watson said in a statement.

Credit: The Restoration House
A rendering of The Village shows several homes and other facilities.

In the rendering above, the light gray building captioned "Phase 3" shows the six units The Restoration House will build using the grant.

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Families at The Village contribute 30 percent of their income toward housing -- the national rate for affordable housing complexes. 

Within 6 months of starting the program, participants must be in school or working full-time. The program has a goal of financial independence for families: affording market rent or homeownership.

In order to reach their goals, participants can use resources like family advocacy, life skills, a youth development program, educational and career opportunities.

The families also work with volunteer ally teams that provide social and emotional help.

RELATED: Construction to begin on $22 million affordable housing project in Pond Gap neighborhood

Watson said access to affordable housing is an important component of helping single-parent families overcome poverty and improve their quality of life.

“At The Restoration House, The Village is a supportive environment that is a major catalyst for change,” Watson said. “Single parents are working to restore relationships, going back to school, advancing their careers, and pouring into their children."

Units range in size from 1,000 to 1,500 square feet and feature two-, three- and four-bedroom configurations.

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