Who We Are

The East Tennessee Housing Development Corporation is a community-based housing organization dedicated to providing quality, energy efficient homes for low to moderate income home buyers and families.  Our earliest beginnings were in the 1990’s when the East Tennessee Community Design Center formed ETHDC as a new nonprofit to take its work beyond the preliminary design phase into development and construction.

In 2006, the City of Knoxville suggested that the Design Center re-activate the Housing Corporation as an independent organization to participate in the revitalization of the Lonsdale community.  The desire was to create and set a standard for well designed, affordable new homes for community residents.

Central to our mission as affordable housing developers is our commitment to produce high quality, energy efficient homes for our buyers.  As the first nonprofit to build Earth Craft homes in Knoxville, the East Tennessee Housing Development Corporation offered residents a well-built house, we also offer features that ensure our buyers monthly savings on utility costs.  All of our new homes are Energy Star certified.

In 2016, we recognized a strong desire from our program participants to have a greater choice in location of their home.  This coincided with the changing climate of federal and local funding for homeownership, as well as a shift in the local real estate market.  We concluded that acquiring and rehabilitating existing homes provided the opportunity for a quality home for our buyers at a more affordable price.  Most significantly, this shift in focus allowed our buyers the choice of neighborhoods in which to live.  Our first expansion was to purchase and rehab properties throughout the City of Knoxville.  We have since secured resources from the State that allow us to develop homes throughout Knox County as well.

In addition to the development of homes, our Board and Staff have worked in a comprehensive fashion to foster neighborhood revitalization efforts, reaching out to local government, funders, businesses, lenders, community residents, and other nonprofits to create a platform for lasting transformation for neighborhoods.  In 2015 ETHDC was the recipient of an Equity Award by the City of Knoxville for our embrace of the Lonsdale community, including the growing Hispanic population. Again in 2019, ETHDC was the recipient of the City’s Equity Award for Housing, this time for providing opportunity throughout the City for our buyers to purchase homes in a fair, affordable and accessible way.  The City recognized ETHDC for this empowering benefit to our homebuyers. 

In our work with community residents and potential homebuyers, we saw the need for more intensive education and one on one coaching, so we developed our Mentoring for Homeownership program. Through this program, we work directly with each person to educate them about household financial management, the home buying process (including the selection of an affordable home), and home maintenance. We continue this relationship even after they purchase a home.

The work of the East Tennessee Housing Development Corporation addresses issues that help provide stability of finances, home, and neighborhood for residents. We anticipate that our community development initiatives will continue to expand in the future as we assist local communities to imagine stronger, sustainable futures for all of their residents.

Our Affordable Housing Program is now City-wide, offering homebuyers choice of neighborhoods and locations in the City of Knoxville.  ETHDC does not discriminate against any person on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, age, disability, marital status or political views.

Click here to see our board and staff.