Albany-- Former military housing in East Albany was inspected today, to see if it could become homes for Hurricane Katrina victims. The City of Albany is moving quickly, determining if the 119 empty units could become home for displaced families to start over again.
The Boyette Village homes are opened for the first time in months, maybe years.
They smell musty. The paint is peeling in some areas, and the floors have a few bad spots. But overall inspectors were impressed by their condition.
Interim Planning and Development Services Director Tracy Hester said, "First look, it's not bad at all."
Built in 1963 and '64 to house Marines and Naval troops at the Marine Base, the homes are all three or four bedrooms, with one and a half baths. Full kitchens, washer and dryer hook ups, and one car garages.
Greater Second Mt. Olive Baptist Church owns the homes now, and want to use them to help Hurricane victims get out of shelters.
Mt. Olive Outreach Director Benny Hand said, "Bringing people into their own single family housing situation, brings normalcy to their lives."
Windows have to open and stay open, to pass fire code. That can be easily fixed, as Fire, Water, Gas, and Light, and Environmental Health inspectors checked the units. The biggest worry is the water and gas lines going to the homes, which have been turned off for years.
Hester said, "You are going to have issues with bacteria in the water line that will have to be addressed. It's my understanding that Water, Gas, and Light has some issues with the gas piping out here. Potential for some leaks, that could be an issue, but that's the reason we are here this morning."
Lawn crews cut the grass and trimmed bushes. These homes have been vacant for years, but with a good clean up, a family that has lost everything in the Hurricanes wrath could call it home until they put their life back in place.
Local government officials are checking with Georgia and Federal Emergency Management for money to pay for the fix ups at Boyette Village. They were promised a quick answer, as housing for Hurricane victims is a top priority.