Taking the first steps in a community-focused plan to combat homelessness, the city of Birmingham has signed on to purchase 50 units of transitional housing for the unsheltered.
The purchase, totaling nearly $1 million, is the first step in a program that will require significant participation from third-party nonprofits and for which details remain fuzzy.
Where the new shelters will be placed, for example, is still up in the air. That will be dependent on the results of a request-for-proposal process, through which local nonprofits can pitch locations and operational plans, including wraparound services they would offer on-site. Read more.
A “transformational” housing redevelopment project could be headed to the Smithfield Community — if the city can obtain a highly competitive federal grant.
Birmingham is applying for a Choice Neighborhood Initiative Grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which would supply the city with up to $50 million to construct up to 1,000 new and replacement mixed-income housing units in the neighborhoods of Smithfield, Graymont and College Hills. The scope of the grant would include redevelopment of the Smithfield Court public housing community, though the affordable housing would be decentralized and blended with market-rate housing. Read more.
One way people can reduce their impact on the climate — and save money on utilities — is to be more economical with energy at home. But making energy-efficient upgrades and installing new technology isn’t cheap.
Last May, Bertina Robinson was driving on First Street South in Birmingham and discovered the homes that are part of “Live on 1st,” a new affordable housing development. Now she lives in one.
“This is a smart system house. I can lock my doors from my phone, I unlock my doors from my phone. I can turn my heat on from my phone, I can turn my air on, from my phone,” Robinson said.
“Live on 1st” is a group of three smart, highly energy-efficient modular homes in the Titusville neighborhood. These homes are the first set of such homes built by Navigate Communities in the city. The organization, a subsidiary of the county’s housing authority, is taking a modern approach to affordable housing in a city where nearly 25% of residents live in poverty. Read more.