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Building Micro-Home Community to 'Combat Housing Crisis' in Chattanooga

Written by:

Cornelia Nicholson with Local 3 News

May 22, 2024

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Soon new homes will be on the market in Chattanooga. The grassy area located at 3525 Garner Road is set to be transformed into a gated-community of 42 micro homes.

A 2023 affordable housing report from Northside Neighborhood House said Chattanooga's current housing issue is two-fold, housing costs are at a record high and inventory is low.

Rashad Jones-Jennings, a retired professional basketball player and a former Howard School and Chattanooga State student said he wants to give back to his community by building up homes.

"My plan is to revitalize my community and love on the community and show them that you know, you can do it too," he said.

Jones-Jennings said his first project in Chattanooga was bringing a car wash on Wilcox back to life after being shut down for more than 5 years.

Now he's developing a gated community of 42 single family micro-homes ranging from 520 to 815 square feet in the east dale area. Valentina Estates ranges in price from $239,000 to $279,000.

"This development will have a park type feel to it, it's like your own little oasis inside of the Eastdale neighborhood," he explained.

The project was approved for a special permit from Chattanooga City Council in February of 2023. Jones-Jennings said the micro-homes will have attainable housing options and he's hoping to bring more homeowners to the community.

"I'm a big proponent of having a mixture of options so we can retain the people who are already in the community instead of having people run to the suburbs so we can get some of that tax revenue for our school system."

We spoke to one resident who says she's looking forward to these micro-homes.

"The plans looked really nice, I liked that the micro homes were very, it seemed like a very tight knit community. As far as the closeness and you'll be able to interact with people. I like the ponds and the dog park," said Melanie Conover.

Jones-Jennings said his main priority is to inspire the youth in Chattanooga and leave the community better than he found it. He said they are now waiting on the land disturbance permit, once they receive it they will start clearing ground and then it will be a 12 month process to develop the community.

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