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"I need help" - Valdosta working to help neighbors seeking affordable housing

Posted at 5:40 PM, May 28, 2024
  • Thousands of neighbors in the Valdosta area seek affordable housing.
  • There are new resources being allocated to help.
  • Watch the video above to see how neighbors are making the most of those resources.

BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT:

In just one month alone, Valdosta agencies see over 5,000 requests for affordable housing and rental assistance. Now, they city is working to make a dent in that number.

"Am I going to make it? Jesus, I need help," Christopher Woodson said.

I'm Malia Thomas, your neighborhood reporter in Valdosta. I'm taking a look at some of that need in the Azalea City.

Christopher Woodson has been in Valdosta for over a year now. "I was going through a crisis while I was living in Tifton, just going through it real hard. I been coming here to the homeless coalition."

Woodson had spent the prior year incarcerated. Then, he found himself homeless. "As soon as I got out, all the things I had, my apartment, my sister, just everything was gone," Woodson added. He tells me affordable housing agencies in Valdosta helped him get back on track.

"Dr. Mathis referred me to Legacy, but when I got to the Legacy, they have this thing called a housing voucher, and if you fall into the right criteria; they get a home they furnish the house for you. They do everything for you."

The city of Valdosta is working to help more neighbors like Woodson. The city is partnering with IDP Properties to create an affordable housing complex called Harvest Station on Griffin Avenue.

They've already invested over $3 million in the property. Now, they've allocated an additional $1 million from COVID funds as a loan.

"Landlords now are increasing rent without justification; that's what I call greed," Dr. Ronnie Mathis explained. Mathis is director of the Partnership to End Homelessness and is pleased more funding and lower-income places are coming to Valdosta. He would like to see more action.

"The second phase is making sure you have the right people at the table and you have a lot of agencies that's coming on right now, but you need those agencies that those grassroot agencies. That's been here for 20 plus years."

The city currently has over $2.2 million in ARPA fund remaining.