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Mason Village aims to give struggling families affordable housing

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- In the shadows of the historic Mason Temple sits an empty lot surrounded by a chain-linked fence and barbed wire.

It is the future home of a housing development hoping to give those with little money in their pockets a break.

"This is what the church is supposed to be about, and this is what government is supposed to be about -- taking care of the quality of life for people," Councilman Joe Brown said.

The Church of God In Christ and the City of Memphis are footing the bill.

The city put up the cash for about 40% of the $10 million project and may squeeze more money out of the budget to cover things like infrastructure.

"This is well worth revenue spent," Councilman Brown told WREG.

"Over 700 low-income families in this city have had to move from their existing residences," Mayor Jim Strickland said.

The redevelopment of the Foote Homes projects and issues at Warren and Tulane apartments forced already struggling families to find new places to live.

The city said many of those residents have concerns about safety and shoddy landlords.

"It's a serious situation anytime you have families that have to be moved and go through the process of changing schools and uprooting their lives," Dir. Paul Young, with Memphis Housing and Community Development, said.

Mason Village, off of Crump and Fourth, will be gated with 23 building and a community center.

The complex is expected to open in March 2018.