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Knoxville CEOs Address Growing Need for Workforce Housing



A small group of Knoxville CEOs recently masked up and came together to celebrate the dedication of a local family’s Habitat home. The Knoxville Habitat CEO Build, presented
by Bank of America, is an opportunity for C-suite executives to raise awareness of the growing need for available workforce housing in our region. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, 46% of Knoxville families were cost-burdened by high housing costs, and the numbers are rapidly growing.

Business leaders in attendance to welcome the new homeowners to their safe and affordable home included Knoxville Habitat board member and KUB President and CEO Gabe Bolas, as well as chief officers from build sponsors PYA, Denark Construction and Merit Construction, Inc.

These supporters, along with other sponsors, partnered with Minani and his family. Minani supports his family by working in housekeeping while his wife, Manirakiza, works in manufacturing. Originally from Burundi, the family endured years of seeking safety in refugee camps and fleeing from the frightening dangers of war and conflicts. This family has now lived in Knoxville for over ten years, but even with their steady employment, this couple and their seven children have only been able to afford a very small rental.

Representing CEO Build sponsor KUB, Bolas recognized the leadership commitment of local leaders during a year of uncertainties. Sponsors included Christman, Barge Design Solutions, PYA, Merit Construction, LDA Engineering, Fulghum MacIndoe & Associates, Stowers Machinery, LHP Capital, Denark Construction and McCarty Holsaple McCarty. Additional financial support was provided by longtime Knoxville Habitat partner St. George Greek Orthodox Church. 

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