Southampton Subdivision Ribbon Cutting

[Photo: Chaplin at podium.]
Regional Director Jim Chaplin joins Carol Clark (representing Birmingham Mayor Kincaid), Rev. Karnie Smith, Chairman of HABD, and new homeowner Jemell Buckner.
The Housing Authority of the Birmingham District ( built eleven homes in Southampton subdivision in the Pratt City neighborhood of Birmingham. The design of the subdivision has attracted attention because of the architecture, which mirrors the historic housing of Birmingham, and the layout of the community. According to Executive Director Ralph Ruggs, the Housing Authority set out to build a quality product in a way that would positively influence a neighborhood and then put in place the mechanisms to make it affordable.

The June ribbon cutting at Southampton Subdivision kicked off the Birmingham Field Office's celebration of National Homeownership Month 2002. More than 75 people crowded under a tent in sweltering heat to hear speakers including Congressman Earl Hilliard and representatives of Birmingham City government.

Region IV Director Jim Chaplin delivered the keynote speech, and Ralph Ruggs, Executive Director of the Housing Authority of the Birmingham District (HABD), presented toolboxes to the eleven first-time homeowners. Philip Morris, an architectural writer formerly with Southern Living congratulated the developers on the quality of the neighborhood-based design.

Adams Design Associates, Inc. planned both the site and the houses. Ranging from two to four bedrooms, the spacious houses all feature porches and separate storage sheds. They are elevated and face the street in a way to create an attractive neighborhood space. Architecture critic, and former Southern Living editor-at-large, Philip Morris, recognized these features in his comments at the Southampton ribbon cutting.

The Housing Authority knew that substantial subsidies would be necessary to fulfill its pledge to quality design and construction and affordability. Working with the City of Birmingham and AmSouth Bank it managed to make the homes affordable to several former Housing Authority residents. Its lease purchase program has eased the transition between renting and owning for the first eleven residents.

Content Archived: July 11, 2011