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Neighborhood Rebound In Orange Mound

The Ethel Street Initiative is a big deal. Just ask the residents of the place known as "The Mound." Local 24's Mike Matthews explains.
Neighborhood Rebound In Orange Mound

For a neighborhood to survive and prosper, you’ve got to start building, and that’s what they’re doing over here in Orange Mound.

It might not mean much to you. But these brick duplexes on Ethel Street are like water to someone in the desert. Affordable housing, quality housing- three bedrooms, two baths, with central heat and air.

Tiana Pyles of the Orange Mound Development Corporation said, “This is a very big day for Orange Mound. We are building again.”

The neighborhood known as “The Mound” has pride going for it. Pride can make people who live here fight to make things better.

City Councilwoman Jamita Swearingen represents Orange Mound. “This is a poverty-stricken area,” she says, “… and you’re making affordable housing, which is very important. Something we are trying to do in the City of Memphis.”

Ethel Street was a place most folks, even in Orange Mound, wouldn’t pay much attention to at one time.
That’s not how they feel any more.

The Ethel Street Initiative is what it’s called, thanks to the city and the Orange Mound Community Development Organization.

The Director of Memphis Housing and Community Development is Paul Young. “They want to concentrate new units, so they can build some momentum,” he says. “We’re excited to see the units come online and what the future will bring as part of this partnership.”

Memphis is the poorest big city in the country. People in this city, in some cases, can’t afford to live. A solid roof over their heads is a start for them, an important start.

“I get excited when we announce a billion-dollar expansion of FedEx or St. Jude,” says Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland, “…but I also get excited when we build two affordable, quality, safe houses in a neighborhood that needs some help.”