Valdosta closer to eliminating substandard housing - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Valdosta closer to eliminating substandard housing

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By Alicia Eakin - bio | email

June 26, 2008

Valdosta - Home has never seemed so sweet for Jerone and Patricia Scurry.

"It looks 150% better because it had started rotting out and everything.  Now, it looks like a new home," Patricia says.

"We are living in a brand new home and we thank God for it," Jerone adds.

They've seen their property leap off the Valdosta's substandard housing list in just one week.

"It needed a paint job really bad.  the paint was flaking off the house, it had some exterior walls that needed minor repairs and all those are code violations," says Housing Rehabilitating Coordinator Richard Joyner.

But those violations were fixed thanks to the Southern Hospitality Workcamp, a program that sends nearly 400 teens from around the country to the City.

The group then works to repair homes for the elderly and disabled on a fixed income.

Their minor repairs have made some major improvements.  "It's a blessing because they are doing something I'm not able to do and my husband's not able to do," Patricia says.

Since 2005, the workcamp has fixed up 183 of the estimated 900 substandard homes in the city and provides a fresh outlook for the deserving families selected for the program.

"These people have worked all their lives in Valdosta.  They are retired now, they are living on fixed incomes.  They cannot afford to get repairs done on the house.  They deserve it," Joyner says.

And every home brings them closer to their goal of eliminating substandard housing by the year 2020.

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