The Greensboro Housing and Neighborhood Development Department has officially acquired its new home, far from the confines of city hall.

On Tuesday, Feb. 21, the Greensboro City Council unanimously approved the purchase of the former Glenwood United Methodist Church property at 1417 Glenwood Ave.

The old Glenwood Methodist Church was purchased from Christ United Methodist Church, which had merged with Glenwood. The price the city paid for the old church, which was valued at $1.4 million, was $30,000, with the condition that the city donate four lots to Habitat for Humanity to build homes for people earning less than 80 percent of the area median income.

The city also plans to develop three lots that are part of the Glenwood property for housing.

Now that the city owns the property, the Department of Housing and Neighborhood Development plans to renovate the old church building for office and public use space.

Renovation design services will be provided by STITCH Design Shop, with an emphasis on incorporating neighborhood input into the design process.

Along with being the new headquarters for the Housing and Neighborhood Development Department, the site will serve as a pilot project for the development of other “neighborhood hubs” designed to provide programs and services directly to the public.

Moving the Housing and Neighborhood Development Department out of the confusing warren of offices at city hall and into a separate office with its own parking lot will certainly make the department more accessible to the people it serves.

In the press release, Christ United Methodist Church Senior Pastor Morris Brown said, “Christ United Methodist has a long history with Glenwood and surrounding communities and is thankful they can continue that service through the production of affordable homes as part of this transaction.”

Housing and Neighborhood Development Department Director Michelle Kennedy said, “This plan has been a long time in the making and the HND staff are excited to make the move. This first neighborhood hub will show what happens when City government works hand-in-hand on a daily basis with communities.”