Hard Bargain dinner celebrates milestone amid ongoing mission

Brant Bousquet, Hard Bargain executive director, presents Sonny Kelton, “the Mayor of Hard Bargain,” at left, with the Good Neighbor Award for all he’s done to rehabilitate the neighborhood and unite the community.
-Carole Robinson

FROM: Williamson Herald

Hard Bargain Association on Tuesday evening celebrated a milestone during the annual Hard Bargain Dinner and Fundraiser at the Williamson County Enrichment Center.  

The milestone is the completion of the fifth and final house on Bungalow Court, a new pocket-type neighborhood in the Hard Bargain area of Franklin.

“We started work on the Bungalow Court homes in 2014, but, really, the planning goes back to 2003 and 2004,” said Brant Bousquet, Hard Bargain Association executive director. “This is the fruition of a lot of work, a lot of prayer and a lot of work from people who volunteered. We took what looked like a large park area and put in the infrastructure for five new homes next to one that was already there.”

That first home was built in 2005.

The homes were built with money from grants and donations. The homes were sold to low to moderate-income families and individuals at below-market value prices. Twin sisters Janell and Shawnell Goodlow are the newest homeowners. They closed on the sale the last new house in Bungalow Court in February. 

“This is very exciting,” Bousquet said during the gathering, pointing out that the completion of the neighborhood doesn’t mean HBA’s work is done. 

“Gentrification came to Franklin this past year,” Bousquet added. “Affordable housing is a huge challenge for Franklin and Williamson County.”

HBA still owns a single lot along Glass Street and is $40,000 away from owning a lot along 11th Avenue, across from Johnson Elementary School, on which officials hope to build additional affordable homes.

Hard Bargain also has a rehabilitation program to save older homes and a repair program for homes owned by senior citizens who can’t afford repairs. It continues to provide a back-to-school backpack program, a Christmas program and community classes at Ty’s House, the area’s community center, which opened in 2012.

For more information about Hard Bargain Association, go to www.hardbargain.org.

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