Kingsport occupies about 40 square miles in the northeast portion of Tennessee. It is an industrialized community with a diverse group of people. Three citiesKingsport, Johnson City, and Bristolcomprise the tricities that are included in the upper east Tennessee metropolitan statistical area. This small city is well known for its volunteerism, community and hometown spirit, and sound living environment for raising a family. It appeals to tourists because of its annual Fun Fest and the beautiful scenery, including Riverfront Park, Greenbelt, and Bays Mountain Parkthe largest city-owned park (by acreage) in the United States.
The city expects to receive about $855,000 in Federal entitlement funds and to use about $35,000 in local funds on projects for the coming year. Some of these projects include: improving streets, water, power lines, storm sewers, and sidewalks; rehabilitating housing to satisfy code requirements; relocating occupants from acquired dilapidated units to standard housing; establishing a literacy program to improve learning skills and build self- esteem, primarily for children of low- and very low-income families; and renovating a neighborhood center. Other Federal resources include $35,600 for the Emergency Shelter Grant program (the city will match this amount).
Kingsport's community development citizen participation plan actively seeks the advice and counsel of its citizens in the preparation and implementation of the plan. The Kingsport Community Development staff conducts two public hearings each fiscal year, inviting citizens to participate and express their views. One public meeting is held at City Hall and the other is held in one of the target areas. Notices of all meetings are placed in the local newspaper no less than 15 days before meetings, forums, or hearings.
The plan also guarantees access of information to citizens, public agencies, and other interested parties, who have an opportunity to review the information and submit comments on any proposal concerning the amount of available funds.
Between 1980 and 1990, Kingsport's population grew by more than 13 percent
to 36,365. Its current U.S. certified population for 1994 is 40,457. The
population includes 34,480 Caucasians, 1,611 African Americans, and 495
minorities of other races.
Kingsport has grown considerably during the past 10 years and is still focused on growth with an intention of attracting new industry and commercial concerns to the city and surrounding urbanized area. The growth has concentrated in most of the upper east Tennessee region, including Washington and Sullivan Counties. The upper east Tennessee region is unusual in that there are three primary growth centers rather than a central city. This situation has led to a certain degree of cooperation among the three cities, but has also fostered an atmosphere of competition in attracting industrial and commercial establishments. All three cities have had a predominately steady population increase.
The top employers in Kingsport: include Tennessee Eastman Company, AFG Industries, Quebecor Printing, Holston Valley Hospital and Medical Center, Willamette Corporation, Fine Paper Division, Kingsport City Schools, and Holston Defense Corporation. A highly diverse industrial base gives the city and surrounding area a healthy economy.
In Kingsport, there are 2,177 renters and owners who fall into the very low-income category, earning 0 to 30 percent of the median family income (MFI). Of all categories, the largest number of households with the greatest housing needs are those with very low incomes and a cost burden of 30 percent. They account for almost 9 percent of the total households in the community.
Of 2,177 very low-income households, about 1,400 have a cost burden greater than 30 percent of their income, while 952 have a cost burden greater than 50 percent. Of 1,868 low-income households (31 to 50 percent of MFI), 824 have a cost burden greater than 30 percent of their income, while 190 have a cost burden greater than 50 percent. Of 2,277 moderate-income households (51 to 80 percent of MFI), 477 have a cost burden greater than 30 percent of their income, while 84 percent have a cost burden greater than 50 percent.
The city's examination into the housing needs of African American households reveals that 17 percent of very low-income (compared with 9.2 percent of total households), 11 percent of low-income (compared with 5.5 percent), and 6.5 moderate-income households (compared with 3.3 percent) have housing problems. These figures show that a disproportionate number of black households are in the very low-, low-, and moderate- income categories, and that the disproportionate need is only in the very low-income category for housing problems.
Very low-income households also share the greatest need for larger housing units. About 1,437 very low-income households, 861 low-income households, and 522 moderate-income households experience overcrowding, cost burden, or severe cost burden.
The 1990 census identified 16,742 housing units. The city had 9,832 owner-occupied units and 5,979 renter-occupied units. The homeowner vacancy rate was almost 2 percent, while the rental vacancy rate was about 7 percent.
The 1995 U.S. census showed 18,457 total housing units within the city, reflecting boundary changes due to annexation. The city has not conducted any recent inventories to ascertain the physical condition of the existing housing stock.
Lower priced new housing construction has been so minimal that it has been practically nonexistent. Therefore, affordable housing in Kingsport is limited at best. The fair market rent for a two-bedroom unit in Kingsport is $324 a month, while the average rent for a two- bedroom unit is $348 per month.
Homelessness in Kingsport seems to be growing. This assessment is derived from consultation with the Salvation Army, Haven of Mercy, Upper East Tennessee Human Development Agency, and other homeless providers. The 1990 census counted 37 homeless people in emergency shelters and two visible in street locales. Service providers believe the number is much higher, possibly into the hundreds.
Chronic homelessness affects about 90 percent of the homeless population, with the remaining 10 percent being temporarily homeless. Nearly half of the homeless in Kingsport have substance abuse problems, while a quarter suffer from personality dysfunctions. Slightly more than one-tenth have economic problems, and another one-tenth suffer from severe mental illness. Programs need to address both the physical and emotional needs. Current needs for homeless individuals which must be met include:
More than ever, families are experiencing temporary homelessness and could benefit from the following programs:
The Kingsport Housing Authority assists 617 households through its public housing units and 744 through Section 8 certificates and vouchers. The city has 327 families on a waiting list to receive housing assistance. The city does not anticipate that any subsidized units will be lost during the plan's timeframe.
Neither State nor local policies and regulations are considered to be major barriers to affordable housing development in Kingsport. The following strategies are proposed to monitor factors that influence affordable housing to ensure such barriers are not established:
Kingsport will keep its aggressive approach to affirmatively advance fair housing by completing many fair housing activities, such as:
Kingsport's existing housing stock has 11,483 units that were constructed before 1980 and, therefore, could contain lead-based paint. Of that number, 649 owner-occupied units and 2,156 rental units are occupied by very low-, low-, and moderate-income households.
The Sullivan County Health Department reported that out of 142 screenings in 1994, 6 people had elevated blood-lead levels, but they did not require a lead survey. This indicates to the city that the abatement programs in place are effective and should be continued. These programs include the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) housing rehabilitation programs and Kingsport Housing Authority's modernization program for its apartments.
The city will work to reduce lead-based paint hazards by rehabilitating existing owner- occupied residences built before 1978. Homes showing signs of peeling or cracking paint will be abated. Contractors will be instructed to encapsulate existing contaminated walls and ceilings with half-inch drywall and replace with new materials any existing trim, doors, and windows originally coated with lead-based paint.
The elderly, frail elderly, disabled, substance abusers, or other special needs populations require supportive services which are tied to affordable housing so that these individuals can remain in their homes. It is expensive and undesirable to institutionalize people who could remain in their homes if they had assistance with daily living.
The elderly are most in need of the following:
People with disabilities need supportive services such as home health care, adult day care, and homemaker assistance. People with alcohol or other substance abuse problems need more rehabilitation or detoxification, including counseling.
There is not any housing specifically designated for people with HIV/AIDS. Therefore, the city does not know if a need exists for supportive housing for people with AIDS. The only program that exists in Kingsport is Project HOPE, which provides education about the HIV/AIDS virus, prevention through awareness and education, confidential counseling and referral to other community services, and programs for families of people with AIDS.
Kingsport has targeted a large portion of its block grant funds to specific neighborhoods in order to take a comprehensive approach to revitalization. These neighborhoods are selected because of the condition of housing, income levels, and adequacy of existing infrastructure so that the health, safety, and welfare of the residents can be protected. Priority community development needs which are eligible for assistance within the framework of the CDBG program are as follows:
The strategic plan identifies the priority needs established by the community and obstacles in addressing the needs of the underserved. The specific objectives to be achieved in meeting priority needs for affordable housing, homelessness, and those residents with special needs are as follows:
These goals are long term and should be achieved within the next 5 years.
Although several nonhousing community development needs have been identified, the highest priorities for CDBG funding focus on neighborhood livability, economic development, recreation, and planning activities for evaluating needs and programs.
Kingsport will continue to focus on target neighborhoods with the Housing Rehabilitation Grant program. Through the Emergency Needs program, the city will provide housing improvements when the safety of residents is threatened. It will use HOME funds for citywide spot clearance and redevelopment. Infrastructure deficiencies will also be targeted, with the city undertaking street, handicapped-accessible sidewalks, and sewer and water line upgrades. Other activities involve owner occupancy and economic development, as detailed below.
Neighborhood Strategy Areas have benefitted from public improvements and housing rehabilitation to the extent that the private sector has developed new housing. Community development activities occurring in Neighborhood Strategy Areas will be adequately publicized to attract new homebuyers. Assistance may be available to promote homeownership and affordable housing for low- and moderate-income families, including downpayment and closing cost assistance as allowed by regulations.
Programs that improve the social and economic conditions are vital for the community's future. Emphasis should be given to formulating economic strategies, such as activities to benefit unemployed and underemployed area residents, actions to stimulate selected economic activities, investments that can achieve objectives cost effectively, neighborhood organizations that can empower residents, and evaluations of long-term impacts of strategies on the neighborhood.
About 18 percent of Kingsport's population live below the poverty line. Employment opportunities are the key to reducing the number of households living in poverty. For many adults a lack of basic education or skills training often limits their employment potential. Developing a Job Training Business Ownership and Entrepreneur Task Force to prepare a comprehensive inventory of training and educational opportunities would be a step toward addressing these needs.
The Kingsport Housing Authority will continue to participate in Lift-Net family self- sufficiency, a program designed to help families become self-sufficient without public assistance. Kingsport recognizes the need to develop new antipoverty programs during the next 5 years and to provide continued support for existing programs. The city will support applications by the Kingsport Housing Authority and other organizations for economic self- sufficiency and antipoverty programs. The city could benefit from organizing a coalition of providers and participants in housing resources, public services, and educational services that focus on promoting antipoverty programs.
The Kingsport Planning Department is responsible for administering and writing the Consolidated Plan, while the Kingsport Housing Authority is responsible for implementing Section 8 and public housing initiatives in the plan.
The city will work with the Upper East Tennessee Human Development Agency, a local community action and social services agency that implements programs and activities for the homeless and very low-income households with housing needs. In order to help needy individuals, it will work with organizations, such as the Salvation Army, United Way, Hope Haven Ministry, Holston Habitat for Humanity, and the Hunger Coalition of Northeast Tennessee.
The annual action plan provides a description of the projects and activities the city expects to undertake using grant funds and program income which the city expects to receive during the program year. Some of these projects include:
The City of Kingsport Planning Department has been designated as the agency to monitor progress of strategies, priorities, and goals contained in the Consolidated Plan.
MAP 1 depicts points of interest in the jurisdiction.
MAP 2 depicts points of interest and low-moderate income areas.
MAP 3 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and minority concentration levels.
MAP 4 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and unemployment levels.
MAP 5 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded projects.
MAP 6 is a map, sectioned by neighborhood, which depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded projects.
MAP 7 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded projects within one of the four neighborhoods indicated in MAP 6.
MAP 8 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded projects within another of the four neighborhoods indicated in MAP 6.
MAP 9 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded project(s) from a street level vantage point; in addition, a table provides information about the project(s).