• New affordable housing development coming to Frayser; residents optimistic

    By: Siobhan Riley


    MEMPHIS, Tenn. - New development impacting people seeking affordable housing is coming to Frayser. 

    It’s called Renaissance at Steel.  

    Developers said reinvestment in the area is long overdue. They want to revamp the property that’s more than 70-years-old where everything is boarded up and an eyesore.

    They said this new project is addressing a big problem they see in their community: homelessness, especially among children.

    Therron Farsee, 19, said he sees a lot of hope when he walks in his Frayser community where developers will build a new apartment complex where he plans to move into next year.

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    “I see a lot of potential, despite everything else, I see a lot of potential,” he said.

    The property owner and project manager told FOX13 they were awarded $16 million from several partners to turn the vacant apartment complex into a new apartment complex with more than 150 units.

    “When we took over these properties, we were aware of a lot of the negative effects that have occurred over the years and vacancy and just neglect frankly. There was a lot of lead, there was a lot of asbestos, mold,” he said.

    Organizers spent nearly $700,000 removing the materials.  

    Roshun Austin said she purchased the property as a way to partner with schools in the area to combat homeless, poverty and illnesses.

    “We’re gutting the inside out. You’ll see some improvements on the outside, new fencing, new landscaping. You’ll see some equipment to increase activity for residents,” she explained.

    Austin said they’re going to take six of the existing units offline to house agencies such as Memphis Athletic, which is currently housed across the street at MLK Prep.   

    Farsee knows the impact that this will have on so many of his friends who need a home.

    “Poverty can create anger, especially if you ain’t got no food, hunger create anger. You’ll do anything. Hunger, all these emotions, so by helping with living arrangements that will give them a foot up at least,” he said.

    The apartments will have 1-3 bedrooms and a washer and dryer.

    Contractors will start working in the area as early as September of this year. The first set of families will move in there 2020.

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