CNE Director Outlines Goals To Civitans

Saturday, February 15, 2014 - by Hollie Webb

 

Chattanooga Neighborhood Enterprises CEO Martina Guilfoil told members of the Civitan Club on Friday she feels Chattanooga is a place where "people are all inclined to want to do something about the community and make it a better place to live."

CNE, a nonprofit organization, has been working toward that goal since 1986. Ms. Guilfoil said the agency wanted to "provide the opportunity for all Chattanoogans to have decent and affordable housing."

However, she said, "I think there's a difference in a hand up and a handout." She said the organization would work with people on loan modification, but that people had to make their payments. She described their policy as one of "mutual responsibility," saying, "If we aren't good stewards of our resources, we can't help the next person."

She said that while CNE does receive money from the city and the government, "We operate as a business, so we generate income."

She said, "The money that we hold is not my organization's money; it's the community's money and I'm just a steward."

CNE has created well over 3,600 homeowners in the area and counseled over 1,100 through foreclosure prevention. Ms. Guilfoil said this is important because each home that is foreclosed ends up having a negative economic impact of approximately $75,000.

She also said CNE will be helping to create more affordable rentals for working families. She said, while there are lots of single units available, finding a rental for a family could be a challenge. She said, "There's a role for rental in our community that's important."

She said, "Not everyone can afford to buy a house." She said this would be important in the coming years because many millennials would also not be able to buy homes because of student debt.

Ms. Guilfoil told the audience in the near future CNE would be working in the St. Elmo and Alton Park areas to develop neighborhoods. She also said the agency is "looking to do some major work in the Highland Park area." She said, "It's the next neighborhood ready for change."

She emphasized that the work in these areas would not just be about "bricks and mortar," but about "connecting people" as well. She said the group wants to create environments where people will want to stay.



HEB Board Approves PILOT For Chestnut Street Apartments

The city's Health, Education and Housing Facilities Board voted 6-1 on Wednesday in favor of a PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) for a $2 million apartment project on Chestnut Street. The five-story, 220-unit apartment building is planned on the Southside near Main. Officials of the Kore development firm said they carried out a similar project in Birmingham without a tax abatement. ... (click for more)

Affordable Housing Bill Passes General Assembly

A bill designed to address the need for affordable and workforce housing passed the Tennessee General Assembly on Monday.  The bill sponsored by State Rep. John Ray Clemmons (D-55), (HB 1174), will allow Nashville or any other metropolitan government to contribute real property to non-profits, such as the Barnes Fund for Affordable Housing, for the purpose of developing ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Area Bracing For Possibility Of Strong Tornadoes

The Chattanooga area on Saturday was bracing for the possibility of strong tornadoes coming in from the West. The National Weather Service issued this Hazardous Weather Outlook: AN OUTBREAK OF SEVERE THUNDERSTORM IS EXPECTED THIS EVENING AND EARLY TONIGHT ACROSS THE TENNESSEE VALLEY AND SOUTHERN APPALACHIAN REGION ALONG AND AHEAD OF A COLD FRONT. DANGEROUS DAMAGING WINDS ... (click for more)

State Attorney General Says City Council Cannot Make Taxis Not Registered In Hamilton County Go Through Emissions Testing

The state attorney general's office has ruled that the City Council cannot require that taxis not registered in Hamilton County go through emissions testing. The city is dealing with the new Uber taxi service that has an out-of-town owner. Locally-owned cabs have to go through the annual emissions testing. The opinion says that local taxi owners cannot get around the emissions ... (click for more)

The Heart Of A Teacher Makes A Difference

In less than four weeks, I expect to be one of 216 graduating seniors from East Hamilton School. One could say all possible variables help a student rise to the highest levels in school; but a student is more than his environment or genetic code. He is a mixture of his own propensity and dedication to academics, coupled with a systemic team of mentors who give their all as a student’s ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Would Mr. Summers’ Clients…

It was a beautiful day at Orange Grove Friday as the nationally-famed center, which cares for over 1,000 intellectually disabled children of all ages, celebrated its annual “Lunch of Champions” with a packed house in the Bucky Williams Gymnasium. Jerry Summers, who insiders know has done more for Orange Grove than any other man alive, not only emceed the event as he does every year, ... (click for more)