"I absolutely hate the word rent. Mortgage sounds so much better." _ LaShawanda
2022 Music Row Build Swings Into Action
Longtime Music Row Veteran Mark Brown announced the kick off of the 2022-23 Music Row Build (MRB) scheduled for May 13, 2023 to support future Habitat homeowner LaShawanda. Brown also announced that Penny Gattis, General Manager of Publishing for Eclipse Music Group, will chair MRB in 2023. Gattis has been championing songwriters for over a decade. In her current role, she oversees all of Eclipse's music publishing activities including the songwriting careers of its writers and artists.
Eclipse artist Jordan James, along with Sarah Darling, will host a benefit, "Christmas on my Mind," Dec. 6 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Star Rover Sound, 1400 Adams St. to benefit the build. There is a suggested $15 donation at the door night of the show.
In addition to the 2023 MRB, Brown says the goal is to establish a $500,000 foundation to continue to provide solutions for Nashville’s affordable housing crisis. Ree Guyer, owner of Wrensong/Reynsong, started MRB with Renee Bell in 2005, and became a cornerstone partner with a generous donation of $100,000 to kick the fundraising off.
The support goal for this year’s build to support LaShawanda and her four children is $25,000.
Music Row Build History
Music Row Build began in 2005 and helped eight local families purchase affordable homes before it ended in 2012. Habitat’s Music Row build reignited in 2020 when Brown decided he wanted to do more to help hardworking Nashvillians have equal opportunities to live in the city in which they work. Brown loved the hands-on approach the Habitat program offered for building better futures and working with and getting to know future homeowners.
LaShawnda Family Profile
LaShawnda is the mother of four children ranging in ages from 16 to 6 years old. She currently works as a dental assistant and has been with her employer since 2020. She is a graduate of Whites Creek High School and attended Tennessee College of Applied Technology Dental Assistant School. She graduated at the top of her class, with honors, in 2019.
Housing Need: Independence, investment and peace of mind, says LaShawnda about her need and desire for affordable housing. In her current rental apartment, there is black mold in the shower, the appliances are old and non-functional, and they all share one bathroom. She feels unsafe in her current neighborhood. “My kids don’t have the luxury of playing outside for fear of safety. There is prostitution, gambling, shootings...you name it.”
“I grew up in a Habitat home. Previously, we moved every year. My mom’s Habitat home gave us stability. That made me want it for my children.”
Becoming a Habitat Homeowner: “My kids are the reason I am pushing for homeownership. I owe this to them, and my determination won’t allow me to give up.”
Inspiration: “For me, this is a big accomplishment being that this is my third time applying for a Habitat Home. The first time I didn't have enough income; the second my credit needed work. It took me a few years to overcome some obstacles, but I'm thankful for everything I went through to get this far. Owning a home is not only a big accomplishment, but also peace of mind and I thank GOD for Habitat for Humanity and my sponsors.”
“It was my third time applying. It took a lot for me to try again. When I got the congratulation email saying I had been approved, I was sooooo happy.”
2021 Music Row Family
Alycia received the keys to her new townhome at Sherwood Commons in May to finish out the 2021 Music Row Build.
2021 Music Row Build Ambassadors! TJ and John Osborne of Brothers Osborne, Grammy winners for the Best Country Duo | Group Performance in 2021.
Music Row Build 2020