Grand Opening: Murfreesboro Housing Authority’s Newly Developed Oakland I and II Neighborhoods

Apr 08, 2024 at 10:03 pm by WGNS News

MURFREESBORO, TN - The community is invited to a ribbon cutting, program, home tour and reception Thursday, April 18, at 11 a.m. at 402 Keeble Circle in Murfreesboro to celebrate the grand opening of 150 newly built affordable housing homes in Oakland I and II. The program will include remarks by U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development Regional Administrator Jennifer Collins; Murfreesboro Mayor Shane McFarland; Oakland resident John Verge; and MHA CEO Thomas Rowe. Parking will be limited; please park at Oaklands Park or along the streets close to the event venue.


This Oakland I and II neighborhoods sit on 20 acres between North Academy and Maney Avenues in Murfreesboro. Previously, 75 homes were built in the 1950s on this land. Today, 150 homes - double that number - are newly built and occupied.

The process of tearing down, replacing and adding MHA homes began seven years ago. A master planning process was begun and aimed to replace all of the old government-financed public housing in Murfreesboro with investor-financed affordable housing. This was the first step in a multi-phase, multi-year program.

Because the redevelopment required that people move out of their homes to temporary housing during the construction process before moving back to the newly developed neighborhood, the project was completed in phases.

Oakland I and II is managed by MHA, which is responsible for maintenance and upkeep of the homes, all of which are rented to residents. Families living in Oakland I and II pay 30 percent of their income for rent and utilities.

Changes in the lack of federal funding for public housing drove this redevelopment, not just in Murfreesboro, but across the country. No new public housing has been built in the United States since 1996, and the housing in place across the country, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, needed more than $26 billion in repairs. Because this funding was not available, a new program, titled Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD), was developed. RAD provides public housing authorities like MHA the ability to enter into long-term Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) contracts that facilitate rental assistance and allows the financing of improvements through public and private debt and equity. (Source: The newly built Oakland I and II is funded by secured loans and Low Income Housing Tax Credits issued by the Tennessee Housing Development Agency.

What’s next? Mercury Court and Parkside, two additional public housing neighborhoods in Murfreesboro, also will be redeveloped.

“We’re very proud of the new Oakland neighborhood,” said Charlie L. Teasley, Chair of the MHA Board of Directors. “By doing away with aging housing that couldn’t be repaired, and replacing it with something the residents and the community can be proud of, the overall value is tremendous to Murfreesboro.”

Even though this process is driven by the way funding has changed at the federal level, the end result is a brand new neighborhood with new homes, sidewalks, a community building, washer and dryer hookups, playgrounds and parks for residents,” said Thomas Rowe, NAHRO Fellow and President CEO of MHA. “We are very pleased with the outcome and we believe the residents are as well.”

Community input from residents, neighbors and others across the city was solicited and drove the design of the neighborhood.

While the redevelopment of Oakland I and II doubled the number of housing units available on the same acreage, there are still more than 1000 families on the waiting list in Murfreesboro for affordable housing.

About the Murfreesboro Housing Authority - The Murfreesboro Housing Authority is a quasi-governmental corporation that began in 1950 to provide housing for low-income families. The mission of the Murfreesboro Housing Authority is to provide decent, safe and sanitary housing in good repair for eligible families in a manner that promotes serviceability, economy, efficiency and stability of the developments; and to utilize all available resources to maximize the social and economic opportunities of its residents. The MHA is governed by a five-member Board of Directors appointed by the Mayor of Murfreesboro.


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