Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

September 6, 2013

Improving the City, One House at a Time

VALDOSTA — On Thursday, homeowner Vorice Harris, 68, was able to cut a red ribbon that stretched across the front porch of her new home, located at 806 York St. During the ribbon cutting ceremony, she was accompanied by Mayor John Gayle and Councilman Sonny Vickers.

Harris said, with a heartwarming smile, that she was very excited to cut the ribbon because she had never been able to do anything like that before. When asked about her new home, Harris said with enthusiasm, “I love it!”

Harris' family owned the house that was previously located on the property for over 100-years. It was originally purchased by her late grandmother around 125-years ago, then it was passed to her parents, and then to her. She lives there now with her two sons, Darren and Eddie, and she plans to keep the property within the family.

Executive Director of Valdosta-Lowndes County Habitat for Humanity, Stuart Mullis, came to the ribbon cutting for the house as Habitat served as the contractor for the rebuild. The home is now completely electric and an Energy Star certified home. The original home was a two-bedroom, two-bathroom home that occupied 900 square feet; now it is a three-bedroom, two-bathroom home with 1185 square feet. The project took 90-days which is the expected completion time, but Mullis said, “we're at the mercy of the weather.” He praised Richard Joyner, Rehabilitation Construction Coordinator, as the unsung hero of the city.

The City of Valdosta partners with Habitat for Humanity and other construction firms on builds as part of the city's goal to eliminate substandard housing in Valdosta by the year 2020. This build was funded by the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), Community Home Investment Program (CHIP), and the Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) of Atlanta funding.

Joyner said that so far, more than 300 houses in Valdosta have been either repaired or rebuilt by the annual Group Work Camp and the grant programs.

According to the City, these builds must be located within the City's Designated Revitalization Areas, and are rebuilt “using plans for KC-910 style homes derived from Hurricane Katrina – long narrow lots, 25 feet wide, 1185 square feet.”

In order to be qualified for a rebuild, the homeowner must be eligible and must reside in the home. The home is then inspected and “must be deemed unsafe for occupancy,” by both Joyner and the city marshals. Reconstruction typically costs over $60,000, which if more than 50 percent of the value of the home, makes it eligible for the grant funding.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • 140729-Gas_Leak002.jpg Roadway closed after second gas line break

    For a second day in a row, workers from Valdosta’s Utilities Department struck a natural gas service line causing a leak that shut down a portion of Forrest Street, officials said.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • dump truck arrest photo.jpg Deputies nab stolen dump truck suspects

    The search for suspected dump truck thieves ended Tuesday afternoon with the arrest of two men in the same area officials searched extensively Monday.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • Bears sighted on Baytree

    A pair of bear sightings along Baytree Road this week could indicate a growing black bear population in Lowndes County.

    July 30, 2014

  • Johnson family files second suit against school

    Two months after filing a civil suit against Lowndes County Schools, Kendrick Johnson’s parents have filed a second suit against the school system which again claims that negligence and bullying led to their son’s death.

    July 30, 2014

  • Teachers Harvest

    With students and teachers returning to the classroom in the coming days, the need for school supplies is at the top of numerous priority lists. For teachers, this often means spending their money to ensure classrooms are fully stocked.

    July 30, 2014

  • Lake Park holds millage rate hearings

    Lake Park City Council held two public hearings Tuesday to discuss raising Lake Park's millage rate from 5.052 to 6.552, an increase of 1.5.

    July 30, 2014

  • 140729_celebritywaiter004.jpg Celebrity waiters raise $14,000 for CAC

    For local leaders, wearing aprons, counting tips and taking drink orders is quite the change from their day jobs. When it's for a good cause though, these “celebrities” didn't mind stepping out of their comfort zones to help.

    July 30, 2014 4 Photos

  • Jim Zachary Mug shot.jpg Zachary named The Valdosta Daily Times’ editor

    Veteran newspaper editor Jim Zachary has assumed the editor’s chair at The Valdosta Daily Times.
    During the past two decades Zachary has been one of the most decorated community newspaper journalists in Georgia and Tennessee.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140728-griner001.jpg Griner takes oath

     Surrounded by family, friends, and fellow commissioners, Clay Griner took the oath of office Monday morning as the Lowndes County Super District 5 commissioner.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140728-man_hunt001.jpg Dump truck thieves sought

    Authorities continued searching for suspects Monday evening connected to a stolen dump truck involved in a chase with law-enforcement.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

Top News
Poll

Do you agree with the millage rate increases?

Yes. We need to maintain services
No. Services should have been cut.
     View Results