Community Development Success Story: MHP Partners with Tennessee Outreach Project
Mountain T.O.P. (Tennessee Outreach Project) is a faith-based nonprofit that offers several programs to “meet the physical, spiritual, social, and emotional needs of all the people [they] encounter” including a food shelf and home repair. They are based in Grundy County, which has a poverty rate of 19.1%. They were interested in starting a new construction program for single family homes that could offer replacement homes for very low-income families.
Shortly after MHP began working with Mountain T.O.P., their longtime Executive Director retired, leaving their Program Director in the interim position. Despite the challenges of the loss of the position, the team was able to accomplish several goals including conducting a Housing Needs Assessment for which a housing advisory group was established and still meets today! MHP also helped to draft a business plan for a single family development program using value gap funding from the Tennessee Housing Development Agency and Federal Home Loan Bank’s AHP funds. Included in that document was a template for construction budgets and a list of general contractors building in the area. Finally, the team identified development opportunities with regional partners, such as South East Tennessee Development (SETD), Better Fi, a local CDFI. In April 2022, Mountain T.O.P. held a Housing Summit for the first time, with more than 25 organizations present, including Tennessee Housing.
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