Valdosta Program Rehabs Sub-Standard Housing

Valdosta Community Development Block Grant
Posted at 5:48 PM, Nov 09, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-09 18:26:19-05

VALDOSTA, GA (WTXL) -- The city of Valdosta wants to get rid of sub-standard housing by the year 2020, using federal funding to fix up homes the city considers "unsafe."

You could call it a makeover of sorts -- a renovated home for a resident ready to move back in.

Through a federal program, the city covers the cost of the rehab with a program they call the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG). The goal is to help homeowners improve less-than-stellar living conditions.

"They've been living that way for a long time, and they couldn't make improvements," said Richard Joyner, the rehabilitation construction coordinator. "They just didn't have the income to do it."

To qualify for the program, homeowners must live in the residence for five years and meet the city's requirements for low and moderate income.

"When I first go into a home and I see the way the homeowner is living, we improve their quality of life a great deal," Joyner said.

The city has fixed a number of homes in the West Side Revitalization Area.

"We started in this neighborhood, because it's the oldest neighborhood," Joyner said. "Needed the most work."

The city started the CDBG program in 2003. To date, more than 50 homes have been rehabbed or constructed.

"It's something that we are very sincere about. It means a lot to us," Joyner said. "Our homeowners mean a lot, and once they get a home, they're proud of them, and they take excellent care of them."