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COGIC, partners break ground on $12.5 million affordable housing project

Bishop Charles E. Blake Sr., the Presiding Bishop of the Church of God in Christ, and Saki S. Middleton, the President of John Stanley, Inc. commenced construction on a 77-unit affordable rental townhome family project on Wednesday.

The project is a public-private partnership with the City of Memphis Division of Housing Community Development (HCD)and the Memphis Housing Authority (MHA).

Located on 6.34 acres, construction is scheduled for completion in July 2018. The partners secured low income housing tax credit and tax-exempt bond allocations from the Tennessee Housing Development Agency. Iberia Bank provided a $6 million construction loan for the $12.5 million project.

HCD provided a $4 million loan for construction and MHA is providing 19 project-based vouchers. The Health, Educational and Housing Facility Board of the City of Memphis issued tax-exempt revenue bonds and provided a 20-year PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes).

“This is a classic public-private partnership”, said Middleton. “The $4 million loan from the City of Memphis Housing and Community Development and the 19 project based vouchers from the Memphis Housing Authority is the key to this project moving forward. It will improve the quality and stability of the neighborhood.”

COGIC Presiding Bishop Blake said, “The Church of God in Christ is extremely excited to build 77 affordable rental townhomes in Memphis adjacent to our world headquarters, the historic Mason Temple. This project provides an opportunity for us to give back to the community we have called home for 76 years.”

Mayor Jim Strickland was among the public officials attending the official start of construction.

“This is a no-brainer: A public-private partnership with one of our great institutions, the Church of God in Christ, to provide affordable housing in our core City,” Strickland said.

Paul Young, HCD director, said the partnership is bringing about significantly needed, high-quality affordable housing units in South City. “We are fortunate to have visionary leadership that is willing to invest resources that will help Memphians transform this historic section of our city core.”

Designed by Self Tucker Architects, the 77-unit affordable townhome housing project will have approximately 29, 2-story townhome designed buildings, with one separate community building for residents. The project will have 59 two bedrooms/1.5 bath and 18 three bedroom/two bath homes with washer and dryers. Amenities will include a playground, BBQ area, sitting areas and a 2,500 square foot community building that will accommodate a lounge, kitchen, flex room, gym and a computer/classrooms.

The units will serve family households whose annual household incomes are at or below 60 percent of the Shelby County area median income.

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