Memphis Habitat, THDA Announce $500,000 Challenge Grant for Habitat’s 35th Anniversary
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Memphis Habitat, THDA Announce $500,000 Challenge Grant for Habitat’s 35th Anniversary

Event kicked off Habitat’s fundraising campaign, unveiled plans for 2018

Memphis, Tenn. Dec. 13, 2017 – Habitat for Humanity of Greater Memphis and the Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA) today announced that THDA will help kick off the fundraising efforts for Memphis Habitat’s 35th anniversary events and projects in 2018 through a $500,000 Challenge Grant.

The grant is designed to “super charge” Memphis Habitat’s fundraising efforts by challenging the community to help the organization raise the first $2.5 million for the campaign by June 28, 2018, which unlocks the matching funds from THDA. Memphis Habitat’s total fundraising goal for its 35th anniversary events and projects is $5.9 million.

“Thanks to partners like THDA, we are able to help people in the Memphis area build strength, stability and self-reliance through shelter, and we appreciate their willingness to support our ambitious plans for 2018,” said Dwayne Spencer, president & CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Memphis. “Reaching our 35th year of serving families is an incredible milestone, but there is much work still ahead. We look forward to recruiting the community to help us bring our plans to fruition.”

During the joint press conference in the Castalia Heights neighborhood, Memphis Habitat also unveiled its plans for the coming year, which include:

  • Creating affordable mortgage opportunities for more than 20 first-time homebuyer families in a new Habitat development called Cedar Heights;
  • Serving 200 Shelby County seniors through Habitat’s Aging in Place home modification and repair program;
  • Completing 15 beautification projects on local owner-occupied properties;
  • Building 10 homes each in Nicaragua and Cambodia through Habitat’s tithe program;
  • Hosting a forum April 11 at the National Civil Rights Museum to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Fair Housing Act; and
  • Inviting the hundreds of families served through its homebuying and repair programs to join donors, volunteers and sponsors for a Habitat Family Reunion in the summer.

Memphis Habitat also will relaunch its Women Build program in the spring of 2018 and continue its annual fundraising events – Tool Box Bash and the Bluff City 10K. Tool Box Bash will take place Friday, Jan. 19 at Crosstown Concourse, and the Bluff City 10K for Memphis Habitat will be Saturday, May 12 at Overton Square.

“Once again, we’re amazed by the vision and ambition of the Memphis Habitat organization and deeply grateful for the opportunity to support your work,” said Kim Brown, Chairman of THDA’s Board of Directors. “We’re confident the people of Memphis are every bit as proud of you as we are, and they’re going to help us celebrate your 35th anniversary by bringing home every penny of our $500,000 challenge grant.”

This is the second challenge grant that THDA has awarded to Memphis Habitat in recent years; THDA’s last award of this nature was in late 2015 to jump-start the fundraising efforts for Memphis Habitat to host Habitat for Humanity’s 2016 Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project. That grant matched the first $1 million dollars raised, making THDA the lead sponsor of the once-in-a-lifetime event.

THDA has a longstanding partnership with Memphis Habitat and other Habitat organizations across Tennessee, providing grant funding, training and other support to help more Tennesseans seek affordable homeownership opportunities. In addition to its support of the Carter Work Project, THDA has supported Memphis Habitat through more than $565,000 in funding from their Housing Trust Fund program, which has served at least 27 families to date.

“We have had an amazing, successful partnership with THDA for many years and have leveraged their contributions to help raise more funds and serve more families. I believe their commitment to building or improving homes in the Memphis area will encourage other organizations and individuals to get involved and help bring us one step closer to making it possible for everyone to have access to decent, affordable shelter,” Spencer said.

Memphis Habitat is currently seeking support for its 2018 home-building efforts and 35th anniversary events. For information on how to support and build with Memphis Habitat, contact Rachel Koch, volunteer and events manager, at or 901-322-3504.

About the Tennessee Housing Development Agency
As the State’s housing finance agency, the Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA) is a self-sufficient, independently funded, publicly accountable entity of the State of Tennessee. More information about THDA programs can be found online at

About Habitat for Humanity of Greater Memphis
Habitat for Humanity of Greater Memphis partners with people in our community to help them build or improve places they can call home through new home construction, rehabilitation projects and Aging in Place accessibility and mobility modifications for seniors. Since 1983, Memphis Habitat has helped 490 first-time homebuyers secure affordable mortgages and completed rehabilitation and home modification projects in partnership with more than 350 local homeowners, helping them achieve the independence they need to build a better life for themselves and their families. For more information, visit

Posted by Kim Morrison Stewart at 4:39 PM
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