A church organization Monday held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on new affordable housing units in Memphis.
The Church of God in Christ (COGIC), a Pentecostal church with more than six million members, said its new affordable housing units, 20 apartments called 280 Vance, will help lower-income Memphians live downtown.
“The quote I use is the same one that Paul Young uses: ‘a downtown for everyone,” COGIC Director of Economic Development Darin Burns told Action News 5. “And so, we want to make downtown affordable for anyone who lives here, regardless of your economic status of anything of that sort.”
“That is our goal. That is our target, to make it under what the threshold is right now because again, our motto is ‘affordable housing for downtown,” he said.
The 20 income-based units are 700-square-feet each. They have one bedroom and one bathroom each.
According to Apartments.com, one-bedroom, one-bath apartments in downtown Memphis typically cost about $1200, though some are more affordable.
The 280 Vance Apartments apartments are listed at $950 per month. It is unclear how those prices will be adjusted for tenant income.
“Our presiding bishop, Bishop J.D. Sheard, is passionate about increasing affordable housing,” Burns said. “So, our plan is to hopefully build another 100+ units in downtown, and in south Memphis we desire to build senior housing. Also, the Frayser community is another community we plan to impact with affordable housing.”
To build the property, COGIC reportedly used a loan from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
It plans to continue its work, building 120 more units as well as retail spaces in downtown Memphis.
Earlier in the year, the church met with HUD officials and hosted a panel regarding “opportunities for partnerships between faith-based and community organization and Federal agencies.”
HUD explains that it partners with faith-based organizations on projects like COGIC’s affordable house.
The Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships (The Partnership Center) in the Office of the Secretary, serves to ensure that Faith-Based and Community Organizations (FBCOs), which form the bedrock of our society, have strong advocates within Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the White House and Partnership Offices throughout the Federal Government. The Executive Order to establish the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships was signed by President Biden on February 14, 2021. The White House Partnership Office promotes partnerships with religious and secular neighborhood organizations to work with leaders of all faiths and backgrounds who are on the front lines of their communities, to help uplift, heal, and rebuild neighborhoods in crises.
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