Valdosta gets grant for rebuilding and renovating homes - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Valdosta gets grant for rebuilding and renovating homes

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) -

By Jade Bulecza - bio | email

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) –Valdosta set an ambitious goal of ending substandard housing in the city by 2020.

The city just received a state grant to help them reach that goal.

They'll use more than $300,000 to help 24 homeowners rebuild or renovate a house within the city's designated revitalization area.

This is how the Young family's home used to look.

"It was just falling down and termites trying to get it but you know we made it through," said Ruby Young.

Termites had damaged the walls, framing, and floors.

"Many times from the street you can't tell the damage on a home," said Richard Joyner with Valdosta Neighborhood Development. "It'll appear to be in good shape."

Just looking at the home you wouldn't have guessed how severe the structural problems were. When homeowner Tim Young called code enforcers and told them the floor was falling in, the investigation began. The house was condemned.

With $15,000 from the Community Home Investment Program known as CHIP and about $45,000 in Community Development Block Grant money, the Young family was able to get a brand new house built from the ground up by Habitat for Humanity. The city got the CHIP grant this year to help fix more homes.

"This CHIP grant, $306,000 goes a long way to us, meeting that goal of doing away with substandard housing," said Valdosta Mayor John Fretti. "It's a large goal to undertake but this will get us a little further along."

The family has been living in this home for two years.

"It's a good feeling," said Young. "You can walk, talk, eat, sleep. It's good, comfortable. We have central heating and air. We're proud of it."

Since the City of Valdosta started receiving CHIP funds in 1998, the program has assisted 158 homeowners including the Young family.

The grant is part of $5.1 million the Georgia Department of Community Affairs awarded across the state under the CHIP program this year.


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