Two new homes will soon be added to the Weems Drive neighborhood thanks to a partnership between the city, the University of South Alabama and a local developer.

The city hosted a groundbreaking at the site of the new homes for low-to-moderate income families this morning. The cost of construction will be offset by HOME funds awarded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

“This is a big, big day for the city, for USA and for residents along Mobile Street and on Weems [Drive],” Stimpson said at the event. “These lots have been vacant since 2002 and will now be two, new affordable homes.”

The city has owned the two lots since 2002 and own seven total in the neighborhood. Stimpson said the goal is to develop all seven lots and move families in as soon as possible.

Knowles Development Group will build the homes, but the city will then be able to recoup some of the money from the property sale after that, Stimpson said.

“This is just the start, Kimberly Knowles said. “There are seven we hope to finish out. We hope to bring in young families into the city.”

The homes will be three bedroom, two bathroom layouts with brick, she said. They will have all the amenities of new homes.

Through its own partnership with the city, USA’s University Hospital is responsible for maintaining the rights of way between its campus and Spring Hill Avenue, Assistant Administrator for Support Services Warren Greene said.

For families interested in purchasing the new homes, Knowles said applications are available at her office. The city is also accepting applications, she said.