Chattanooga kicks off ‘housing month’ with new program to aid homeless

CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee (WDEF)-“The problem is housing supply,” said Mayor Tim Kelly.

Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly and staff are attempting to expand the supply of affordable housing in the city.

Wednesday’s announcement focused on those currently or potentially facing homelessness. The city unveiled the ‘Housing Provider Risk Mitigation Fund’ program, which will provide funding for repairs that are needed after damage is caused by a low income tenant.

“Which will help, hopefully, ease your minds and will be available for claims if you’ve got a renter who’s incurred damage,” said Kelly.

“They have a case manager who is assigned to them that works with them for a full year and the entire purpose of that relationship between the case manager and the client, your future tenant, is going to be number one to make sure that they’re maintaining sustainability.”

“What we’re trying to do as a city is to provide more offramps from homelessness. How can we get people into a home? There may be other co-occurring conditions. We often hear about mental illness. We hear about substance abuse, but those issues can be better solved when someone’s housed,” said Ellis Smith, Chattanooga’s Director Of Special Projects.

Another step, for the future, is providing housing options where housing will cost people around 30 percent of their income.

“All the way from the missing middle-class housing, where you need workforce housing for the folks who live here or want to live here. We’re working with everybody we can. Every partner whether nonprofit foundations, housing providers to try to find out ways the city can increase that supply and increase the affordability of housing for people,” said Smith.

The housing mitigation fund will have $100,000 in the fund, as a test run, to see if the program works with up to $7500 reimbursement per unit per lease.

The city is also hearing from current and prospective landlords to use their feedback to address any thoughts or concerns landlords have.

Categories: Chattanooga, Featured, Hamilton County, Local News

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