Stephen Jeter, Youth Specialist Knoxville Job Corps and Rev. Sam Brown, Senior Pastor Logan Temple AME Zion Church. All photos submitted

By Vivian Shipe

KNOXVILLE, TN — The fourth in a series of quiet conversations about affordable housing will move into west Knoxville as council woman Seema Singh Perez and the non profit I AM The Voice of The Voiceless continue to put a face on who needs housing and the concerns and barriers they are facing.

NIMBY (Not In MY Backyard) and YIMBY (YES In My Backyard) will lead the west conversation as those questions have come up in previous town hall meetings and in the surveys placed around the city.

The NIMBY attitude exist when a person or persons objects to something  perceived as unpleasant or dangerous moving into their neighborhood while not objecting to the same

Annette Beebe, Coordinator Youth Wins, CAC

project being moved into another neighborhood. This can occur when certain types  of ethnic groups,  housing, homeless shelters, or rehab housing is being considered for an area. The public perception and myths of the community against receiving such individuals and families who may be trying to come into their comfort zone create barriers that affect affordable housing opportunities.

The barriers of housing discrimination, the alarming rise of homelessness of youth aging out of foster care and opportunities for housing and jobs for those youth will be addressed. How to combat the nimby attitude towards these and other groups are among the questions that will be addressed by a panel of experts with a passion and a history of helping in this affordable housing realm.

Ben Bentley Executive Director of KCDC, Stephen Jeter with Job Corps, Annette Beebe, CAC Youth Wins coordinator, Attorney George Underwood, and Rev. Sam Brown will answer

Atty. George T. Underwood II, Underwood Justice Law Firm

questions and offer resources and suggestions to raise awareness and help change perceptions to help the communities move into a welcoming YIMBY mindset.

This meeting will be the last in a series of town hall meetings that have been held all over Knoxville to hear from the people. The conversation will then turn to hear from those who design, build, and provide affordable housing and the services needed by those individuals.

The wrap up meeting will bring everything full circle and will address the affordable housing issue from the provider side.

Ben Bentley, Executive Director KCDC

On Friday, Dec 14th, the wrap up meeting will be held Downtown in the small assembly room of the City County Building from 2 till 4 pm. The panel and attendees will be a mixture of realtors, developers, landlords, advocates, attorneys and others who provide the housing in Knoxville.

Following the meetings, the next step by Perez and I AM Voice of the Voiceless is to present the findings of the data that have been gathered via the surveys and town hall meetings. The data is being  compiled and analyzed by an outside firm and the findings will be presented in 2019.

As with all previous meetings, the final wrap up meeting is free and open to the public. The refreshments will be provided by Wyatt’s Catering and TV and Radio Personality Hubert Smith will moderate.