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Birmingham Approves $3.5M for Affordable Housing Units in Southtown Court

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By Ryan Michaels
The Birmingham Times

Birmingham City Council on Tuesday passed more than $3.5 million in grant money and loans to support the development of 203 affordable housing units at the former Southtown Court public housing complex, which is currently being redeveloped, in Birmingham’s Southside neighborhood.

The units, which will be split across a 143-unit building for senior citizens and a 60-unit multifamily building, are meant to serve as replacement housing for the 98 families which have opted to remain on the Southtown site according to Dontrelle Young-Foster, president of the Housing Authority of the Birmingham District.

Nearly 90 units of Southtown Court will remain occupied on the site by families until construction on the replacement housing is complete.

The total amount City Council approved for the affordable housing units Tuesday was $3,641,00. That’s in addition to $960,000 the city approved for the project in 2020.

The $3.6 million total is made up of three different sources of funding:

–$1,761,000 dollars in other federal housing grants to support construction of the affordable multifamily development.

–$1,000,000 dollars in city loans to fund construction of the senior development.

–$880,000 in federal housing grants to subsidize rent for residents of the senior development.

The extra money from the city is needed because the expected cost of the project increased due to multiple challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as a change in federal classifications, according to representatives of Southside Development Company.

13th annual Real Men Read at Miles College on Friday

The Birmingham Times

I See Me Inc., founded by Devon Frazier to help dismantle illiteracy among young people of color, is hosting its 13th Annual Real Men Read event at 9:30 a.m. this Friday, March 3 at Miles College Knox-Windham Gymnasium.

For over a decade, Real Men Read has presented a powerful image of mostly Black men of all professions countering negative stereotypes and serving as mentors by reading books to hundreds of young boys in the 3rd through 5th grades. This will be the first in-person Real Men Read in two years since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

This year’s theme is, “We Are Every Good Thing” in reference to the book written by Derrick Barnes. Each young man in attendance will receive his book “I Am Every Good Thing”.

The speaker who will set the tone for the day will be Alabama State University President Quinton Ross.

“By establishing an environment with a positive male role model through interaction with books can provide a positive sense of reading that will sustain them for a lifetime,” said Frazier.

For additional information email Devon Frazier at info@iseemeeinc.com. Follow I See Me Inc. by visiting www.iseemeinc.com.