Commission looks to improving housing - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Commission looks to improving housing

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July 24, 2007

Cairo-- Almost 250 children in Grady county live in housing that is in such poor condition, they're considered homeless by federal standards.  

Comissioner Albert Ball says housing for the underprivileged is unacceptable, and he's made it his mission to see a change.  "I was just aware that our county has housing circumstances that just are not conducive to safe and adequate living for a lot of our citizens," says Ball.

Whether you're in Cairo or outside the city limit, Ball says you can find housing that isn't up to par.  "Unsafe, overcrowded and dilapidated housing are the three biggies that exist that I'm aware of that we want to rid the county of for poor populations," Ball says.

He says some areas like the Thompson trailer park are severely overcrowded because people there are forced to pool resources to get by. Others houses are so dilapidated, they're dangerous.

Government housing in the area is in fairly good condition. The comissioner says the problem there is there simply isn't enough of it to go around.

The goal of the housing task force is to bring in grants and funds from federal and state departments that are available, but aren't being taken advantage of.  "Direct help both with possible ownership, you know home ownership by poor people, as well as improved conditions in rental properties," says Ball.

It will be a long process, but the forming of the task force is just the start.  "I think if you get the community involved and your neighbor starts cleaning up, it kind of catches on."  So hopefully one day home will be the safe haven it should be, for everyone in Grady county.

The Housing Task Force consists of people ranging from county officials to people who rent property, and even those looking for better housing for themselves. They plan to meet once a month at the Roddenbery Memorial Library.

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