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Hard Bargain Association to cut ribbon on 'pocket neighborhood'

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Hard Bargain neighborhood

HBA will have a brief ribbon cutting ceremony and celebration for its new pocket neighborhood on Saturday, June 15 at 9 a.m. at 723 Mount Hope Street in Franklin.

In December 2013, Hard Bargain Association (HBA) embarked on its most ambitious project to date – the development of a Bungalow Court of five new homes in a “pocket neighborhood.”

As a result of this effort, five families have seen their dreams of homeownership become a reality.

HBA will have a brief ribbon cutting ceremony and celebration on Saturday, June 15 at 9 a.m. at 723 Mount Hope Street in Franklin. Parking is available at Johnson Elementary School at the corner of 11th Ave. N. and Mount Hope Street.

“Affordable housing is a critical issue in Franklin,” Brant Bousquet, executive director of HBA, said. “The median sales price of a home in Franklin in May 2019 was $555,000. Some apartments start at $1,500 per month for a one-bedroom unit. These prices are out of reach for many in our community.” 

HBA builds new homes and sells them at below market value to low- to moderate-income families and individuals. 

The Bungalow Court on Mt. Hope Street is an example of what HBA has achieved through partnerships, grants and donations collected from individuals and from fundraising events, like the Blackberry Jam music festival coming up on Saturday, June 22 (for details, visit www.TheBlackberryJam.com).

“These five homes are a beautiful addition to the Hard Bargain neighborhood,” Bousquet said. “Homeownership is the easiest way to create wealth in our country. These homeowners are having the dream of homeownership come true, and it will change not only the individual homeowners’ lives but their children and grandchildren.”

Since 2007, David Crane of Crane Builders has built 13 homes as a volunteer and HBA board member. He has a passion and vision for making a difference in the lives of families and knows that homeownership is a game-changer.

“I am glad to be a part of this project, because it’s a way to help keep people in the Hard Bargain neighborhood who might otherwise not be able to stay or move back,” said Crane, who has been involved with the neighborhood since HBA was founded. “I have a heart for Hard Bargain, and it’s a way to give back to the community and to the industry.”

Hard Bargain Association’s goal is to help preserve and revitalize the historic Hard Bargain neighborhood, which was founded more than 130 years ago by Harvey McLemore, a freed slave.

Its mission is to preserve the historic Hard Bargain neighborhood by renovating existing homes, building high-quality affordable housing and enriching the lives of our neighbors. Through HBA’s rehab program, volunteers help repair homes of elderly residents in the neighborhood. The vision is to transform the neighborhood into a diverse and vibrant community for generations to come. 

“We are grateful for our partners, individuals, businesses, churches, schools and volunteers, who help us keep Hard Bargain a thriving neighborhood,” Bousquet said.

For more information, visit www.hardbargain.org

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