City wants more info on housing project - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

City wants more info on housing project

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Mayor Dorothy Hubbard Mayor Dorothy Hubbard
Oliver Jones of Cutliff Grove Family Resource Oliver Jones of Cutliff Grove Family Resource
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ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

A church-backed group that operates a low-income housing facility in south Albany is asking the city for a major financial boost. City commissioners say they need more information before they decide whether to slash a loan to help the group make needed repairs to the housing unit.

The drastic cut they requested Tuesday is raising some eyebrows. City commissioners were caught off guard by a request from Cutliff Grove Family Resource Center to drastically slash their loan for Nativity Village, so they can make needed repairs.

The company, which acquired the low income housing facility in 2008 has had to make numerous improvements to the 42 unit facility.

"We think that given what Cutliff Grove resource center encountered from the beginning, that even with that they've done a tremendous job in terms of the repairs and maintenance and that kind of thing," said Mayor Dorothy Hubbard.

The group says they still need to make more than $400,000 in repairs. And with no money left in their reserves, they're now turning to the city for help.

"The apartments might survive, but some help is going to have to be given to somebody, I don't care who takes it over. I don't care who takes it over, the city is going to have to give some help," said Oliver Jones of Cutliff Grove Family Resource.

"They have done a tremendous job working out there. And they have sacrificed and I think they deserve to have that building restructured and we need to give them a break because they got a raw deal when they first started," said Ward VI Commissioner Tommie Postell.

But how much of a break? The group wants the principal lowered to more than $716,000 at zero percent interest for 30 years. The original loan from 2008 was for $1.4 million at three percent interest for 30 years. A request that raises a number of concerns.

"One of the concerns I had is whether what the request was was even legal. And whether our attorney had been part of that process. When you're dealing with federal funds there are very strict guidelines that have to be followed," Hubbard said.

"I"m would need to see some alternatives to be able to vote for this thing," said Bob Langstaff.

Commissioner Langstaff was among several wanting to see other options. While they want to support the South Albany housing complex, the question is at what cost?

Commissioners requested more information from staff so they can look at other options to help Nativity Village survive.

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