Repairing Homes – Changing Communities

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Chattanooga Area has primarily been known for building and selling affordable homes has expanded its work to include home repairs and other community improvements through a Neighborhood Revitalization Program. Our local efforts grew out of a nationwide initiative by Habitat for Humanity International to serve more families and change more lives in communities hit hard by the housing crisis.

Neighborhood Revitalization Mission

Neighborhood Revitalization affiliates [of Habitat for Humanity] serve more families by responding to community aspirations with an expanded array of products, services and partnerships, empowering residents to revive their neighborhoods and enhance their quality of life.

Neighborhood Revitalization Vision

Neighborhoods across the country are revitalized into vibrant, safe and inviting places to live for current and future residents. This will happen through the hard work of engaged citizens, partnerships with civic and business groups and a renewed community spirit.

 

Current Services

A Brush with Kindness 

Exterior work that includes painting, patching, minor repair, landscaping or replacement of materials for the purpose of maintaining good or sound condition.

Examples Include:

  • Exterior scraping, caulking and painting
  • Window repair (new screen, glass, glazing)
  • Minor siding and trim repair
  • Minor roof repair and soffit or fascia replacement
  • Board replacement in porch, stair or ramp
  • Door replacement
  • Landscaping (pruning and trimming, weeding, reseeding)
  • Cleanup, brush/junk removal
  • Weather stripping

Critical Home Repair

Extensive interior or exterior work performed to alleviate critical health, life and safety issues or code violations, including a change to or repair of materials or components; a reconfiguration of space; a modification for accessibility; installation or extension of plumbing, mechanical or electrical systems on an existing structure. Note: Painting is not a critical home repair.

Examples Include:

  • Interior and exterior work necessary to maintain the home
  • Window replacement
  • Extensive siding and trim repair or replacement
  • Major roof repair or replacement
  • Porch or wheelchair ramp construction
  • Installation or extension of house systems (heating, electrical, plumbing, etc.)
  • Floor and wall repair/replacement
  • Foundation repair

Weatherization

Designed to improve the energy efficiency and overall indoor air quality and comfort of the structure, weatherization is a systematic repair process to an existing home based on a comprehensive energy audit, resulting in a defined scope of work.

Examples Include:

  • Interior and exterior work
  • Replacement of windows and doors
  • Caulking/foaming cracks and gaps
  • Insulating openings, attics, crawlspaces, etc.
  • Minor repairs to ventilation systems
  • Adding or replacing door seals
  • Insulating pipes and duct work; wrapping water heaters
  • Applying insulation in walls

Awards

2015 State Impact Award from Habitat for Humanity of Tennessee

Best Habitat Neighborhood Project: Habitat for Humanity of Greater Chattanooga Area

Jo Matherne, Habitat for Humanity of Tennessee board member (Right), presented David Butler, President and CEO (Left),  and Daniel Gamble, Neighborhood Revitalization Program Manager (Center) of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Chattanooga Area with the Best Habitat Neighborhood Project award. This Affiliate recognized a unique opportunity to help revitalize neighborhoods while also addressing the need for affordable homeownership opportunities outside of the neighborhoods where Habitat is currently building new homes.

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Chattanooga Area facilitated a partnership with BCBS of Tennessee to include four other Tennessee Habitat for Humanity affiliates. Each affiliate received a generous financial contribution as well as one or more days of volunteers to work on both new home construction and Neighborhood Revitalization. Since BCBS of Tennessee is headquartered in Hamilton County, this partnership challenged Habitat for Humanity of Greater Chattanooga Area to find work for 250+ volunteers over a two-week period – twice as many as they normally had in that time frame. So, meetings were set up to find out what the residents needed.

After analyzing these needs, a “Neighborhood Revitalization Blitz” was planned and executed over a 2 week period in 2015 that included 5 neighborhood projects: a community walk for awareness; the exterior beautification of 2 houses across the street from each other was completed; extensive work was completed at a middle school that serves more than 500 students of which 99.5% are economically disadvantaged and 21% have disabilities; Overgrown alleyways between homes were cleared; and lastly, a community-wide block party where students and their families were invited.

More than 150 residents turned out for a hot dog and chips and to enjoy a good time. The Police Department was out in force – officers were tossing footballs and frisbees with teenagers and the Fire Department brought out their truck and kids of all ages learned about fire safety. The impact of this work continues to be felt in the community. The neighborhood residents grasp the depth of Habitat for Humanity’s commitment. Hundreds of lives were touched by the work of two weeks and a community came together to celebrate.

 

Support Provided By:

City of Chattanooga

Department of Economic and Community Development

Andy Berke. Mayor

 

Funding for the Neighborhood Revitalization Program’s Pilot Project

Provided by the