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Dignitaries and members of the Crossville Housing Authority recently gathered and celebrated with a groundbreaking ceremony for CHA’s Iris Cottage home project on Iris Circle. Present for the ceremony were leaders from CHA, Chamber of Commerce, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati, city of Crossville and Cumberland County Bank.

Dozens gathered under a sunny, blue sky recently to celebrate groundbreaking ceremonies for the Crossville Housing Authority's Iris Cottage.

The home is a supportive housing project of the Crossville Housing Authority. The home will be at 452 Iris Circle and is funded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, The Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati and the Crossville Housing Authority.

"It's a great day for Crossville. This is a project that means a lot to a lot of people," said Don Alexander, Crossville Housing Authority director.

Alexander explained the project came together through a variety of partnerships.

Iris Cottage will be a four-unit, single room home to assist homeless people with disabilities that will feature a staff on site with support staff service on hand.

The goal is to help the people get back on their feet and allow them to get the help they need, Alexander said.

The program will also encourage people to eventually get into the family self-sufficiency program through the Crossville Housing Authority, which leads to employment, money and credit management and becoming self-sufficent, productive members of the community.

The multiple partnerships are what is making Iris Cottage possible.

Damon Allen, senior vice president and community investment officer with Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati, explained that they were a wholesale bank that made loans to community banks for programs such as Iris Cottage and was partnering with Cumberland County Bank for the loan on the project.

"Cumberland County Bank has had 11 awards through the program over the years and that speaks volumes about them. It's a long-term model that works," Allen said.

Several people made remarks during the celebration including Crossville Mayor J.H. Graham III, Edward Ellis, Knoxville field office director of U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and state Representative Cameron Sexton.

Also noted during the ceremony was the work and support of U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Crossville-Cumberland County Chamber of Commerce, Creative Compassion, HUD Community Planning Department and Upper Cumberland Continuum of Care.