September Quarterly Newsletter
Dear Friends and Supporters,
After a hot and busy summer, Fall has almost arrived, and with it, numerous encouraging updates from both our agency and neighborhood. This quarter, we want to share messages from our Executive and Deputy Directors, as well as our board chair. We hope that like us, you are excited about the positive work being done by our agency and so many others in the Frayser neighborhood.
A word about the FCDC's Housing Counseling Program, from our Deputy Director:
Our agency works to bring about social change and improve the quality of life for residents of the Frayser community through single-family housing development–for homeownership or rental opportunities. In addition to the safe, good-quality affordable homes we sell or rent in Frayser, we also invest in the development of programs to improve housing outcomes for homebuyers, homeowners and renters alike. We do this successfully through our housing counseling program.
The Frayser CDC established its HUD-certified housing counseling program in 2006.
What is a housing counseling agency, you might wonder? It is a place that employs housing counselors who offer housing counseling and advice to tenants and homeowners, with respect to property maintenance, financial management and literacy, and any other matters as appropriate to assist program participants in improving their housing conditions, meeting their financial needs, and fulfilling the responsibilities of tenancy or homeownership.
The CDC offers a comprehensive list of housing counseling services to the Frayser area, such as; -mortgage delinquency and default resolution counseling
-rental housing counseling
-homebuyer education workshops
-foreclosure prevention workshops
-and financial fitness (budgeting and credit) workshops.
Each service type is essential to our role as housing developers working in the Frayser area because we are investing in more than the property but also in the people. We invest in people by providing knowledge, resources, and tools so that they can make sustainable housing choices for themselves and their families.
Our counseling program was designed to focus on local market-driven issues and it explores creative ways to achieve sustainable housing outcomes for participants. For example, there was a time pre-Housing Crisis of 2008, when the Frayser community held the highest foreclosure rate in the city and state. Our counseling program assisted many hundreds of families in avoiding foreclosure and retaining their biggest asset – their home.
More than ten years later, the Frayser neighborhood has begun to see a positive market turnaround. Homes values have climbed the fastest in the county at a twenty-five percent increase for the past two years and now there is an increase in the number of owner-occupied purchases than before. Current day, with all the positive housing growth going on in Frayser, our counseling program is focusing on marketing pre-purchase education and counseling to help individuals decide if they are ready for homeownership and connect them with safer, more affordable mortgage products. We take the time to understand the housing obstacles that Frayser residents face and we design programming within our counseling department to produce better housing outcomes.
We are proud of the work we are doing to improve the quality of life of individuals, families, and the Frayser community through Housing Counseling.
Deputy Director of the Frayser Community Development Corporation
The View From The Chair
Lee Iacocca, who turned around a rapidly failing American automotive giant said, “We must keep the main thing the main thing.” Our hardworking Frayser CDC has been following this astute business model for some time. Against tremendous odds we are enjoying real success in rebuilding Frayser by keeping the main thing, the main thing. What is the main thing for the Frayser Community Development Corporation? So glad you asked. Our stated purpose is: To work with the community to provide improved housing and stimulate commercial and economic growth.
As chairman, I get to hear statistics, reports, and other accounts monthly at our Board meetings. It is an honor to serve with the talented and dedicated board members, and staff of this organization. Someone else once said “Numbers don’t lie, but liars use numbers!” I won’t quote lots of numbers but rather invite you come by and visit or simply drive around Frayser and see the growing changes. Yes there is still work to do. But I firmly believe that we at the Frayser CDC are on the right road.
We appreciate your interest and support.
Dean E. Moore M.Div., M.S.
Chairman of the Board Frayser Community Development Corporation
"And Another Thing" - Comments from our Executive Director
In the Spring, I wrote that things are changing and progressing fast in Frayser. The highlights – housing prices and home ownership are on the rise. But, there are quite a number of other ways that the neighborhood is making progress. There is a growing list of major projects that are underway or coming soon to 38127.
· Just last week it was announced that the land adjacent to the Nike warehouse on the Frayser/Raleigh border will be the site of a 4.2 million square foot facility. The early word is that it will be an Amazon distribution center and will create 1,000 jobs.
· The Works CDC and Comcap Partners continue to move forward with the redevelopment of the large complex on Steel at Dellwood – across the street from Martin Luther King Prep. They plan to invest more than $15 million.
· Porter-Leath has announced that they’ve acquired the acreage across the street from the Frayser post office on which they will build a new $10 million daycare facility to accommodate 246 children..
· Girl’s Inc. has, after years of planning, announced that they are ready to move forward with their new $4.5 million campus on their farm land behind the Frayser post office.
· The Memphis Business Academy has purchased the commercial center on Frayser Blvd. at Overton Crossing. They will create a new charter STEM middle school as well as redevelop the remaining shopping center at a cost of $16 million. This project, to be called Harmony Plaza, is underway.
· Overton Gardens – 40 abandoned units across the street from Harmony Plaza, has new owners and is under renovation.
· The apartment complex known as Treasure Park, located at the strategic Watkins gateway , has been a problematic property for decades. These units have been acquired and work is underway to redevelop these 216 units. Their announced budget is $16 million. The same buyers have also acquired and plan to redevelop Timber Pines – 112 units on Gowan at Watkins.
· Bayou Square, about 60 units on Millington Street, has just completed several million dollars in the process of a complete renovation.
· Work has finally started on the complete, $7 million dollar facelift of Baber Park.
· Plans for a new shopping center continue for the Hollywood gateway, at the site of the old treasury Department store. That project has been granted a Community Pilot and is expected to cost $16 million.
· In addition to the new houses being built by Frayser CDC, a for-profit contractor, after building and selling his 1st new house for $103,000, is breaking ground on an additional 19 new houses in the Schoolfield area.
· If that’s not enough – Frayser is in the early stages of planning for a new branch library across the street from Baber Park, as well as a new community center to replace Ed Rice Community Center.
That’s a whole lot of work and investment in Frayser. Skill saws and bull dozers will heard for some time to come. To repeat myself – things are changing fast in Frayser.
Frayser Community Development Corporation Executive Director