In one East Chattanooga community, an effort to boost homeownership is underway [photos]

Lynesha Flanigan, left, and her husband Michael pose for a portrait in their new vacant lot in the Boyce Station neighborhood on Thursday, March 22, 2018, in Chattanooga, Tenn. The Boyce Station Neighborhood Association is working with neighborhood families to obtain vacant lots and build affordable housing.

When Cora Lanier and her son, Jumaane, rallied their East Chattanooga neighborhood a few years ago and helped form the Boyce Station Neighborhood Association, they were worried.

All across the city, longtime Chattanooga families were finding themselves in a housing crisis, said Lanier, a former program director at Girls Inc. who has been a volunteer community organizer in East Chattanooga since 2001.

Property owners in neighborhoods in and around downtown were watching their property tax bills escalate, but many couldn't increase their income to cover the jump. Others were displaced when landlords sold their rental property to developers. Others were forced to move when they couldn't afford their skyrocketing rent.