The Anand-Martin Foundation announced that it will break ground on two Huff Place duplexes this fall, bringing the first of 250 affordable homes to Chattanooga.

“Like many cities, Chattanooga has a critical need for affordable housing, and the COVID crisis has only made the situation worse,” said Sushan Anand, president of the Anand-Martin Foundation. “The Anand-Martin Foundation aims to help fill this housing need by building affordable homes for rent, and the Huff Place duplexes are just the beginning for us, as we have 250 homes planned over the next two years.”

The duplexes will be two single-story homes, each with three bedrooms and two bathrooms, located in downtown Chattanooga, at Huff Place and 23rd Street.
Built from customizable prefabricated homes, the architectural design of the homes will rival that of median-priced homes in the city. Each of the four units will offer approximately 1,200 square feet of living space with custom cabinetry, name-brand appliances and professional interior finishing.

“The foundation has carefully selected a team of partners who are dedicated to the cause of designing affordable and equitable housing that is beautiful and well-built,” Mr. Anand said. “Our projects start with modular housing to lower construction costs without sacrificing quality.”

Although Chattanooga’s median home price is nearly 30 percent below the national average, homes have become less affordable in the area as inventory has dwindled and housing prices have risen faster than wages, according to the National Association of Realtors.

The rule of thumb is that housing and related expenses, such as insurance and utilities, are deemed affordable if they don’t exceed 30 percent of a household’s income. According to “A snapshot of affordable housing in Chattanooga,” published by Metro Ideas Project, approximately 47 percent of Hamilton County’s households are renters, and about 46 percent of those are “rent-burdened” due to high housing costs relative to their income.

“The time to address Chattanooga’s affordable housing crisis is now,” Mr. Anand said. “I used to operate extended stay hotels, so I’m very familiar with the community’s housing needs. Now, I am proud to concentrate solely on creating affordable housing for Chattanooga’s citizens.”