//Carrie Cuts Ribbon on Her CDBG Reconstructed Floyd Street Home

Carrie Cuts Ribbon on Her CDBG Reconstructed Floyd Street Home

Share with friends

PHOTO:  Vanassa Flucas of the Neighborhood Development Director, Valdosta Mayor John Gayle, Valdosta City Manager Mark Barber, homeowner Carrie Kelley, City Marshal Richard Joyner, District 3 Councilmember Sonny Vickers, Sarah Lowe of the Neighborhood Development Division.

VALDOSTA – Carrie Kelley got an early Christmas present in June 2018.

On Tuesday, December 11, the City of Valdosta held a ribbon cutting ceremony at 9:30 a.m., bringing together members of the community who helped make Carrie’s new home a reality. They stood in the chilly morning on the front porch of her new home at 708 Floyd Street, making it official.

“When I moved in it was a little mind-boggling,” Kelley said after she snipped the ribbon with the giant scissors provided by the City.”I was so appreciative for everything they did and so grateful for this house. I didn’t really believe it was gonna happen. I got two baths now, a kitchen.”

The reconstructed home was built utilizing Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding.

All decked out in her blushing pink holiday sweater and matching hat, Carrie sat in a rocking chair next to her front door with eyes glistening with both pride and joy.

Carrie Kelley rocks on her porch while describing what it was like seeing her old home go – and her new one appear

“When I looked up I could see the sun and moon through the holes in the ceiling and roof,” Kelley said.

Carrie Kelley’s home on Floyd Street prior to being leveled for CDBG-funded new home

Kelley had lived in her home for 36 years and hadn’t been able to maintain it. Rain fell through the roof, the kitchen cabinets were damaged.  “I could put my hand on the walls and they’d push right through,” she explained.

This home reconstruction was a CDBG-funded project that took three months to complete, during which time Kelley lived with her daughter. Homeowner Kelley lived in an 850 square-foot home with no heat. Now, she has a 1235 square-foot home with central heat and AC.

“My new house is beautiful, I love it! I am so appreciative of this program that allowed me to get a new home through the Neighborhood Development Division of the City of Valdosta. I encourage more people in our community to apply for this program,” Kelley said.

Kelley’s new home is one many CDBG homes that the city has reconstructed in the past several years to eliminate substandard housing within the city limits. It is one of reasons why the city was recognized by the Georgia Initiative for Community Housing (GICH) program for its determination to provide decent, safe and affordable housing and increased economic opportunities for citizens of the City of Valdosta.

“It is always a joy for us to cut ribbons on our reconstruction projects. We started this program trying to eliminate substandard housing starting in 1987. That was a long time ago! In 2002, we set the goal to eliminate substandard housing by 2020 and that’s what we are working on,” commented District 3 Councilman Joseph “Sonny” Vickers. Kelley’s house on Floyd Street is within his District 3. “We are always trying to reach that goal, this is an ongoing project for us. I am so happy for Carrie Kelley, she has a beautiful new home.”

The Neighborhood Development Division, which oversees the CDBG entitlement funds, is responsible for directing, coordinating and managing all Valdosta programs receiving local, state or federal funding for neighborhood and community development, which also includes the First Time Homebuyer Education, the Single Unit Housing Rehabilitation Program and the Southern Hospitality Group Workcamp.

“Projects like this make you feel like you’re making progress in substandard living,” Councilman Vickers added. “It’s very dear to me. Vickers was first elected to the City Council in 1986 and and immediately began actively pushing for improvements in some of the most effected neighborhoods. “This is my pet project since 1987. There were homes with outdoor toilets, 26 mile of dirt streets, and half of them were in this district.”

The total cost of the build was $92,233.50. Kelley went from a two bedroom, one bath home to a three bedroom, two bath home. The contractor was Duane Lantis Construction, Inc. The house is a KC (Katrina Cottage) 910 and took three months to complete.

To be eligible for the reconstruction home program, a homeowner must meet income eligibility, must reside in the home, and the home must be deemed unsafe for occupancy.

For more information, call the Neighborhood Development Division at 229-671-3617.

For a video of her front porch interview, visit ValdostaToday.com on Instagram.