Navigate Housing developing exciting new modular homes in North Titusville

Live on 1st
A rendering of the Live on 1st homes. (Live on 1st)

Navigate Affordable Housing Partners, a Birmingham-based non-profit organization, is bringing three new modular homes to the North Titusville neighborhood in a development called Live on 1st. Located across from Booker T. Washington Elementary School, these three homes are both smart and energy efficient—meaning they’ll be more affordable to purchase and maintain.

Bham Now spoke with Navigate CEO Lisa McCarroll to learn more about Live on 1st.

Meet Live on 1st

Live on 1st
The Live on 1st homes are nearing completion. (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

Located in Birmingham’s historic North Titusville neighborhood, Live on 1st is a collection of three state-of-the-art modular homes designed specifically for families making 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI). Since Live on 1st is just minutes from downtown Birmingham—and literally right across the street from a local elementary school—these new houses will be perfect for working families.

Live on 1st consists of three homes, all named for Wallace Rayfield—the second formally-trained African-American architect in the United States:

  • The Rayfield I — A two-story modular home, configured in an L-shape with an open floor plan in the living space. (Two units available)
    • 1300+ square feet
    • 3 bedrooms, 2 baths
    • Eat-in kitchen, dining room, living room, washer/dryer hookups, HVAC, custom porch & more.
  • The Rayfield II — A two-story modular home, configured to pack a lot of living space in a narrow footprint. (One unit available)
    • 1300+ square feet
    • 3 bedrooms, 2 baths
    • Eat-in kitchen, dining room, living room, washer/dryer hookups, HVAC, custom porch & more.

In order to make Live on 1st possible, Navigate teamed up with several community partners, including Alabama Power and Design Initiative.

So, what sets Live on 1st apart?

Live on 1st
The Live on 1st homes are named for Wallace Rayfield, the second formally-trained African-American architect in the United States. Rayfield designed a number of buildings in Birmingham, including the 16th Street Baptist Church. (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

The most tangible difference between Live on 1st and other workforce housing initiatives is the way they are constructed. Traditional homes are built on-site, subject to weather delays and other risks while building in the elements. The modular homes of Live on 1st were constructed in sections off-site and indoors, which means they can be built faster and to higher standards in a quality-controlled environment. Once complete, contractors put the sections together on-site. When it’s all said and done, the modular houses of Live on 1st save time and money for the builder, which puts homeownership in reach for residents of North Titusville.

“At Navigate, community development is our newest formalized venture. In North Titusville, we’re focused on three areas: education, catalytic development and housing. We’ve worked with North Titusville residents to figure out how we can be the most helpful to their community, and their answer was clear—they have beautiful apartments, but they want homeowners.”

Lisa McCaroll, Chief Executive Officer, Navigate Housing

That’s where Navigate shines. The Live on 1st homes are much more affordable—both in the short and long term—than similar homes built using traditional methods in the area. In a neighborhood with a median income of $39,236 per year (according to Point2Homes, based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau), that affordability is a big deal.

“When you talk about housing affordability, there are two main costs. The first is much does it costs to purchase the home. The second is how much it costs for the family to operate the house over time with utilities, repairs and other long-term costs of homeownership. Our team is working to lessen both costs with modular homes that are both smart and energy-efficient, so that the savings can be passed on to the homeowner.

Thanks to Alabama Power, these homes are truly smart and energy-efficient. For the first two years, Alabama Power will be monitor the home’s energy-efficient performance—their goal is to keep each home’s power bill under $70 a month.”

Lisa McCaroll, Chief Executive Officer, Navigate Housing

So, who will be the first families to Live on 1st?

“Navigate has partnered with the Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama (¡HICA!) and Neighborhood Housing Services of Birmingham to identify families that can move into these homes under the program, where they will live for up to three years. The idea is that Live on 1st is a stepping stone for people who want to be homeowners, but whose income isn’t quite there yet. By living at Live on 1st, that family can develop the tools and experience they need to be successful home owners, so they can have long-term success when they are ready to purchase their own home.

The best part about our work is that this process isn’t something that only Navigate can use! We want other non-profits in Jefferson County to use our process as a roadmap and implement our successes in their own work.”

Lisa McCaroll, Chief Executive Officer, Navigate Housing

Navigate Affordable Housing Partners is working on several projects in Titusville, including Live on 1st. Follow Bham Now on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok and LinkedIn + sign up for our FREE newsletter to never miss exciting news like this.

Nathan Watson
Nathan Watson

Senior Content Producer with Bham Now | Originally from Tennessee, Nathan moved to The Magic City after graduating from Birmingham-Southern College. Nathan is passionate about recognizing Birmingham's history and is thrilled to learn more about the big things planned for The Magic City's future.

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