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Forestine Watson-Haynes, Executive Director

Mailing Address:   PO Box 4703 Phone: (423) 698-8190 Chattanooga, TN 37405 Fax: (423) 698-8191    twoeight@bellsouth.net

Location Address:   815 N. Hickory St.   Chattanooga, TN 37404 www.cdc28th.org/contact.html

Biographical Sketch: Forestine Watson-Haynes

Forestine Watson-Haynes, Executive Director of the 28th Community Development Corporation (28th CDC), has a diverse professional background and over 30 years work experience that includes social work case management and supervision, community development planning, housing development, and executive management.

Forestine worked as a child welfare professional from 1974-1987 addressing the needs of children and families to insure protection and quality of living standards were in place in the households served. She moved professionally to the other end of the spectrum and served as the Public Guardian for Southeast Tennessee from 1987-1990 acting as a court appointed conservator and/or guardian for the disadvantaged aged for a ten (10) county service area.

For the past fifteen years, Forestine has been professionally engaged in the economic and community development arena. She has been Executive Director for the 28th Community Development Corporation since 1999 providing opportunity for change through economic development, community revitalization and affordable housing for the Chattanooga residents of the 28th Legislative District.

Forestine is a graduate of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga where she was a charter member of the Lambda Delta undergraduate chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority. She matriculated as well towards a doctorate in jurisprudence at the Nashville School of Law.

She is married to George W. Haynes and has two adult children.

Forestine is presently affiliated with the following:

  • Board of Directors, Thankful Community Development Corporation
  • Board of Directors, Local Workforce Investment Area 5
  • Advisory Board, FannieMae TN Partnership Office
  • TN Legislative Black Caucus Wealth Creation & Housing Task Force (Served as Chairman of the Outreach Committee)
  • Thankful Missionary Baptist Church


The 28th CDC is a private, locally initiated non-profit community development organization serving over 20 neighborhoods in Chattanooga, Tennessee’s 28th legislative district. We are not a government entity. Governed by a maximum 21 member board of directors, the 28th CDC seeks to provide and administer programs, projects and activities that contribute to the social, economic, and civic development of persons residing in the neighborhoods and communities we serve.

Contact Information   Mailing Address:   PO Box 4703 Phone: (423) 698-8190 Chattanooga, TN 37405 Fax: (423) 698-8191   email: twoeight@bellsouth.net

Location Address:   815 N. Hickory St.   Chattanooga, TN 37404
Forestine Watson-Haynes, Executive Director
Jim Bridges, Housing Program Coordinator  




The 28th Legislative District Community Development Corporation (28th CDC) is a private, locally initiated non-profit community development corporation created to improve the quality of life for all residents of the community and act as a catalyst for economic and community development for the Chattanooga neighborhoods that comprise the 28th Legislative District. They are the low-moderate income designated neighborhoods of Alton Park, Avondale, Bushtown,

Dalewood, Downtown (which includes several Renewal designated neighborhoods), Eastdale, East Chattanooga, Glenwood, Highland Park, Orchard Knob, Piney Woods, South Chattanooga, and the mixed income and neighborhoods of means that include St. Elmo, Missionary Ridge-North

North Chattanooga, Red Bank, Riverview and Lookout Mountain.                                

Most of the communities that have been designated by the city of Chattanooga as communities of need are within the 28th CDC service area. These communities are populated by individuals with low or marginal incomes, high incidences of school drop out rates, under employed (or higher unemployment rates) a significant number of public housing residents, and families dependent on public assistance as well as large numbers of single-parent households. These are communities whose conditions belie a disturbing reality: few opportunities for economic improvement.


The 28th CDC was chartered in 1993 in the State of Tennessee and received its

501(C) (3) IRS tax-exempt designation in July 1995.  A maximum 21 member volunteer Board of Directors governs it with one non-voting honorary member. Board representation consists of public sector, private sector, and low-moderate income community residents or persons residing in low-moderate income neighborhoods.


The 28th CDC is an organization of many accomplishments. Once a neophyte seeking to carve out a niche in community development, it is now an established and well-regarded source for making positive changes in some of the city of Chattanooga’s most unstable neighborhoods. Forging partnerships that range from local, state and federal governments to for-profit corporate friends and neighborhood and civic organizations has resulted in over $5 million dollars in grants and other funds being received and administered by this non-profit corporation in the past ten (10) years as we provide opportunity for change through: Affordable Housing, Community Revitalization, and Economic Development.                                                                            


Among the CDC ‘s primary concentration to date has been the development and provision of affordable housing that is changing the look of housing styles found in Chattanooga’s inner-city communities. As a result of its approach to urban housing development, the Department of Housing and Urban Development


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The 28th Community Development Corporation


(HUD) and the city of Chattanooga acknowledged the 28th CDC in 2001for a “Best Practice” recognition.


The 28th CDC is currently engaged in two major economic development and community revitalization initiatives. One is a mix-use development to be constructed on Martin Luther King Boulevard in the downtown “renewal” community. It will consist of over 20,000 square feet of retail and housing condos. The Chattanooga Renewal Community has awarded a Commercial Revitalization Deduction worth nearly $1 million to this project. The value of which will be passed through to the platform businesses that will comprise the commercial floor of the development The other economic development initiative is a 15,000 square feet Resource and Enterprise Complex that will be developed in the Bushtown community, the oldest African-American neighborhood in the City of Chattanooga. It will feature culinary arts entrepreneur training as the anchor program in this facility.


The 28th Legislative District Community Development Corporation recognizes that building better communities involves more than brick and mortar, which is why two economic development conferences with participation on a national base have been held by this organization. The only local non-profit CDC to undertake an event of this magnitude, the first conference held in 2000 and titled “Beyond 2000: Creating A Better Tomorrow Today” was attended by over 500 individuals and featured author, political pundit and television personality, Tavis Smiley, as the conference keynote speaker.  Dr. Michael Eric Dyson nationally renowned teacher and author set the tone for the 2001 conference by expounding on “Fixing America at the Grassroots Level”. In 2003, the 28th CDC chose to highlight the importance of art in addressing quality of life factors. A “Tribute to the Ladies of the Blues” was held featuring three women of note in the music industry. Broadway and Tony award winning star Linda Hopkins, European diva Joan Faulkner and Ms. Peggi Blu (considered one of the best session singers in the music business today) provided an entertaining and fun filled evening of the indigenous southern art called the “blues”.


In its quest to “improve the quality of life” for community residents, the 28th CDC has partnered for the past three years with Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity to sponsor a Minority Health Fair that has provided health screening and health education opportunities for over 1000 individuals who have been able to gain early entry into the health care arena and possibly decrease major health care disparities.


The 28th CDC, chartered in 1993, was not staffed for the first few years of its existence. Its volunteer board initially operated the 28th CDC with technical assistance from the Southeast Tennessee Development District, a regional planning agency that engages in economic and community development over a nine (9) county service area in Tennessee, Georgia and North Carolina.



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