VALDOSTA – The City of Valdosta held a ribbon-cutting Tuesday, April 23, at 10:30 a.m., for a newly reconstructed home on 500 Old Statenville Road to locally celebrate National Community Development Week. The reconstructed home was built utilizing Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding.
This home reconstruction was a CDBG project that took three months to complete. Homeowner Emma Bonner lived in an 803 sq. foot home with no heat. Now, she has an energy efficient, 1113 sq. foot home with central heat and AC. The project cost approximately $91,492 and was built by Michael Miller, a Valdosta Small Emerging Business (VSEB) Contractor.
Bonner’s new home is one of many CDBG homes the city has reconstructed in the past several years to eliminate substandard housing within the city limits. It is one of the 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.
Bonner lived in the former home since 1980 and kept it painted on the inside and out, but through the years it fell into general disrepair and became dangerous. She added that a woman who was learning to drive ran into her house, too, which didn’t help.
“I went down there and applied and before I knew it, I got approved,” she said. She’s happy she’s got a home on the footprint of her former home because she loves the neighborhood and says, “We’re like a family around here.”
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 Family Unit Housing Rehabilitation Program and the Southern Hospitality Group Workcamp.
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.
“What’s my favorite?” she echoed when asked which part of her new house she liked best. “…I..well, it’d have to be my kitchen. I always stay in the kitchen.”
But, she said with a shake of her head, “I love it all.”
For more information, call the Neighborhood Development Division at 229-671-3617.