Housing Fair to improve Sylvester - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Housing Fair to improve Sylvester

March 1, 2006

Sylvester -- Getting rid of sub-standard housing and helping flood victims recover is what leaders in Sylvester hope to accomplish. The city will hold a Housing Fair to help families find safe and affordable homes. It will also help people whose homes were flooded last July.

They'll see options for building a new home and find out what help they can get to buy an existing house. The city hopes people the community will attend the housing fair to get advice on building or buying a home.

"A lot of times they say the city's not doing a lot of things. We want to let our citizen's know that we are working on programs to help our citizens get into affordable housing."

The fair will be Satuday March 11th from ten till two in the Sylvester Council Chambers.

Here's why people may need that help.

Dozens of homes and businesses in Sylvester were damaged by flooding after Hurricane Dennis back in July. And the rebuilding is far from finished.  One man in particular knows the area still needs help for recovery.

Charles Rutland spends hours restoring old cars at a shop right next to Town Creek. He remembers when the creek overflowed back in July. He was here when the water rushed in.

"It come under the front door and up holes under the side. So the only thing I could do is cut off the power. Put on my boots and get out." 

High water left damaged the inside of his shop. Damage that remains as a reminder of the scary experience.

"Everybody was sad, lot of people lost their homes and everything they had worked for for years. And everything was gone in a matter of minutes. And lot of them still need help and say they can't get the help they need."

Today Rutland walks the same street he took last year to escape the rushing water. He hopes improvements to drainage systems will prevent future disasters and keep him working on his cars on dry ground. 

The City of Sylvester recently hired a new code enforcer who will inspect homes in the flood prone area to make sure they're up to code.

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