Community leaders tour Midtown Neighborhood of Kingsport
The Midtown Kingsport neighborhood will be undergoing a long awaited transformation, thanks in part to a $300,000 HUD Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant that was awarded
to the Kingsport Housing and Redevelopment Authority (KHRA) in 2012. The transformation will not only plan for the modernization of what is currently Robert E. Lee public housing, but will involve every aspect of the neighborhood.
HUD Knoxville Field Office participants Ed Ellis, Leigh Van Rij, Karen Haynes, Kevin Jones, and Suzanne Wright are excited about the transformation, and are actively participating in the process. Recently they joined community leaders in touring the neighborhood. Of note is that residents are also involved in the planning process as experts on what services they really need.
Only 17 communities were awarded this grant in the United States in 2012 which may later
qualify them to receive an implementation grant after the planning process is completed. Many of
those involved in the neighborhood transformation are committed to seeing the plan carried through,
whether an implementation grant is awarded or not. Terry Cunningham, KHRA Executive Director
and others said that they will find a way to make the improvements, even if it is piece by piece.
The funding provides these communities the resources they need to craft comprehensive,
community-driven plans to revitalize public or other HUD-assisted housing and transform
Partner organizations involved in the planning process and dedicated to Midtown’s transformation
include: The City of Kingsport, Domtar, the largest integrated manufacturer of uncoated freesheet
in North America; Eastman Chemical Company, Kingsport City Schools, Northeast State Community
College (where Kingsport students can receive a free 2 year education); Wellmont Holston Valley
Medical Center, Alliance for Business Training, Inc., Big Brothers Big Sisters of East TN,
Boy & Girls Club of Greater Kingsport, Eastern Eight Community Development Corp.,
Employability Training & Consulting Services, Frontier Health, Hunt Capital Partners, LLC,
Kingsport Area Transit Service, Kingsport Chamber of Commerce, Kingsport Fire Department,
KHRA, Kingsport Police Department, Kingsport Tomorrow, Lee Apartments Resident Association,
Literacy Council of Kingsport, Rural Health Services Consortium, Inc., South Central Kingsport
Community Development, Inc., Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA),
United Way of Kingsport, Upper East TN Human Development Agency (UETHDA), and
UETHDA Head Start.
To learn more go to HUD Choice Neighborhood Grant.