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KNOXVILLE — Last year students, faculty and staff from the University of Tennessee worked with residents of Copperhill, Tenn., and McCaysville, Ga., to help create a sustainable development plan for the Copper Basin. This fall, UT students will return to the area to study and help address local housing issues.

UT’s Community Partnership Center will host a public workshop regarding housing issues at 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 4 at the city hall in Copperhill. The program should last no longer than two hours and is open to all residents of Copperhill and McCaysville.

The workshop will provide information on safe, affordable and sustainable housing. It will begin with a brief overview of national initiatives and case studies.

During the program, community members will help determine local housing needs and priorities and share information on housing conditions in the Copper Basin. Feedback will provide the foundation for a sustainable housing plan. Students from the Master of Science in Planning program will facilitate the workshop.

“During last year’s project we found that nearly half of Copperhill’s housing stock predated World War II,” said Tim Ezzell, director of UT’s Community Partnership Center (CPC). “Since that number is unusually high, we thought it was important for us to come back to the community and learn more about local housing needs.

“We built a great partnership with Copperhill and McCaysville last year,” Ezzell said. “We look forward to visiting with the community again and talking about these important local issues.”

The project is sponsored by the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) as part of the Appalachian Teaching Project (ATP). The ATP was established in 2000 by the ARC to engage the region’s colleges and universities in building a sustainable future for Appalachia. This year 14 institutions from nine states will take part in the project.

Project results will be presented to ARC in Washington, D.C., in December. Communities could use these findings to apply for federal funds for local housing improvements.


Tim Ezzell,, 865-974-9036
Amy Blakely, (865) 974-5034,