Tornadoes, Budget Cuts Can’t Stop Birmingham Group’s Affordable Housing Push

In the wake of last year’s tornadoes, Birmingham, Ala. recently approved the demolition of the remaining damaged structures in an area known as Pratt City in order to move forward with rebuilding. The Birmingham News talked with Neighborhood Housing Services of Birmingham Executive Director John Colon about the high demands of this work, and Colon notes that even before last April, Pratt City’s housing market was “already weakened by blight and the economy” but was then “devastated by the tornadoes.” Although he highlights his success in working with other local community leaders and national planners on the creation of a new redevelopment plan for the area, Colon acknowledges the challenges his organization faces after a 50 percent budget reduction by the city as well as title issues that have delayed property transfers. Colon makes a strong connection between his housing work and economic development by emphasizing the job growth and opportunities that can come from housing.

Non-Profit Quarterly

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