KINGSPORT, TN (WJHL) – – Kingsport housing officials gathered Tuesday for the groundbreaking of the Cloud Apartments.
It’s the first of five phases to renovate all public housing in the city.
It’s a project Maria Catron, deputy director of Kingsport Housing and Redevelopment Authority (KHRA), said will cost $45 million.
She said these housing units have never been renovated before.
"You know, it was put into operation in 1952 so some things that are vital such as the systems, electrical, plumbing, really need updating," Catron said. "They aren’t as fancy as the other things but they are very important systems that need to be upgraded and replaced."
For Esther Rodolphe, who now works for KHRA, she knows how much these units need an upgrade because she used to live there.
"I had a baby, I was in college so I needed help, you know, it’s not easy raising a child, trying to go to school and trying to make a greater opportunity," Rodolphe said.
She said a nice place to live can be the start of turning your life around.
"We know that sometimes success is built off of stableness and housing so it is very much a big deal," Rodolphe said. "It’s a huge deal for to the people who has resided here and who is going to reside here so it’s big."
Catron said the renovations at Cloud Apartments will take two years to complete.
The Kingsport Housing Authority will stagger construction so tenants can move into sites where renovations have yet to begin and will be relocated once work is complete.