With a scoop of ceremonial dirt by project organizers, and city leaders, the Shepherd Drive project is underway. "It will be a neighborhood were you see a lot of sweat equity in people taking care of their property people taking care of their yards" Mayor Keith Hightower said.
The project, headed by the city is described as an aggressive effort to provide housing to everyone who wants a home. "I know of no other city that has taken from start to finish the development of the land, the creation of a line of credit, the creation of a mortgage product" Tim Carpenter with FNMA said.
In just a few months a vacant lot will turn into a 26 unit gated community and the city will help the home owners with a credit line and downpayment assistance, and the quality of the home is expected to far exceed the typical low to moderate income house. "Many times when you think of low to moderate income housing they think of shot gun houses, but I believe and the city believes you can build quality affordable housing that looks good" City councilman Calvin Lester said.
The new homes promise to revitalize the MLK neighborhood, which some believe goes unnoticed. "It restores the pride that the community once had" MLK Neighborhood Association Director James Bryant said. "When you got a stable neighborhood you don't have to worry about crime people are going to work everyday, they're keeping up their property" City Councilman Calvin Lester said.