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Development Spotlight | Hurricane Creek Trace, Tuscaloosa

June 02, 2016

Hurricane Creek Trace
Tuscaloosa, AL

50 new construction single-family homes
Serves: seniors aged 55 and older
AHFA funding sources: HOME Funds: $1.1 million (2012) | Housing Credits: $720,300 (2012)
The path of the April 27, 2011, tornado that devastated Tuscaloosa was within a block of the Hurricane Creek Trace site. Many of the displaced residents were seniors who lived in single-family homes. Community Service Programs of West Alabama, Inc. (CSP) and its partners developed Hurricane Creek Trace to assist the city in its response to the housing displacement resulting from the tornado. Hurricane Creek Trace was designed as a single-family development to best meet the post-tornado needs of the community, and because it was the most appropriate building type to match the neighborhood and existing site.
Amenities/Tenant Services:

  • Homeownership conversion option for residents:
    • Residents will have an opportunity to purchase their rental home at the end of the development's compliance period
    • They will be encouraged to participate in workshops regarding managing their finances, home maintenance and other homeownership counseling
    • A conversion strategy will include helping residents apply for state, government or federal assistance programs and working with mortgage lenders to obtain approval
    • Units will be offered for sale to residents at a price to cover a prorated portion of existing debt, which is anticipated to be less than 80% of the appraised value, thereby creating immediate equity for residents
  • Gazebo
  • Clubhouse with computer center & free Wi-Fi
  • Picnic area with grills
  • Homes offer a built-in storm shelter
Item of Interest:
In addition to helping the City of Tuscaloosa rebuild after the tornado, Hurricane Creek Trace also helped to eliminate an environmental problem. The site was a dormant, partially-developed single-family subdivision that created substantial stormwater runoff into the nearby Hurricane Creek watershed, was cited for environmental violations, and was a major eyesore in the community. CSP and its development partners consulted regularly with local river keeper organizations, along with ADEM, to ensure the development was constructed in a way that minimized impact on the watershed. 

With financing from AHFA, the City of Tuscaloosa, and Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA), Hurricane Creek Trace is an example of how to transform a real problem into beautiful new housing.