Chattanooga City Council approves the purchase of the Airport Inn Motel

City looks to repurpose the motel for low income housing

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn (WDEF) – On Tuesday, the Chattanooga city council unanimously approved the city’s purchase of the Airport Inn Motel.

The city has big plans for this motel with hopes to turn it into an affordable housing opportunity for the community.

 “Every city across the country especially in the wake of a covid pandemic is struggling to find answers of how we provide more affordable housing. To the extent that we can be innovative and try to think of solutions to things that may not have been considered before – we are trying to be innovative and think outside the box,” says Jermaine Freeman, City Economic Administrator.

Money from the American Rescue Plan Act is helping finance the $2,785,000 purchase of the motel. 

 The building comes furnished with all beds and fixtures, as well as linens and other useful supplies.

“We have not settled on one particular income threshold or classification. Obviously given the fact that we are using some federal dollars that are specifically designed for providing relief in low-income communities- that gives us the room to really use the property for a wide range of what is considered low income,” says Freeman

 Councilman Darrin Ledford says he’s familiar with the area and states: “Dangerous activities are well documented and I am pleased to see an opportunity for increased public safety at this site. Renovation and repurposing of this property can be a catalyst for positive transformation in the area while addressing a lack of current housing opportunities.”

 City officials say there is no set timeline for this project as many details have not been determined.

“We really want to start a community engagement process. We want to work with the area businesses and organizations that are in the area around the Airport Inn. We want to be responsive to what the community sees and what Mayor Kelly’s vision is for affordable housing,” says Freeman.


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