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.

Text Only
Local News
  • flood4c.jpg Flood warning extended

    A flood warning for the Withlacoochee River at Valdosta has been extended until Wednesday afternoon.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • doug henderson.jpg Memorial tourney returns

    The Doug Henderson III Memorial Golf Tournament has raised thousands of dollars for scholarship funds and to help organizations throughout the region.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • 041914-WA-Egghunt021.jpg Park puts wild spin on Easter tradition

    Adventurous egg hunters braved overcast skies and a persistent drizzle to search for hidden prizes Saturday during Wild Adventure’s first Ostrich Egg Hunt.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • FallenTree003.JPG More spills reported

    City of Valdosta employees have spent the weekend responding to spills caused by several inches of rain that have again drenched the city during the past few days.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Underwater Easter_Rich copy.jpg Stories behind ‘The Greatest Story Ever Told’

    Christ comes from the Greek word, “Christos,” meaning “the anointed one.”

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140418_valwood001.jpg Valwood students register to vote

    Valwood teaches its students about the importance of voting. Each year, the school has encouraged eligible seniors to register to vote and participate in local elections.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • wadebrandon14.jpg Police still seeking missing mother, son

    Though their assignments have changed during the past dozen years, Valdosta Police Capt. Bobbi McGraw and Sgt. Chris Crews continue working the case of a missing mother and her son.

    April 19, 2014 3 Photos

  • 041814-TreeDownonRobinHood.jpg Minor flooding expected

    Minor flooding of the Withlacoochee River is expected this weekend thanks to the day-long rains across South Georgia Friday, according to the National Weather Service.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 041814-TreeDownonRobinHood.jpg Wastewater hazards assessed

    During heavy rain events, five to 15 manholes throughout the city are at risk of overflowing into local waterways, according to the City of Valdosta.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140418-VSU_HSBA003.jpg Valdosta State cuts ribbon for health, business building

    Eighteen months after breaking ground on the project, Valdosta State University held the official ribbon cutting Friday for its Health Sciences and Business Administration Building.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

Top News

Given the amount of rain recently, what's your favorite “rain” song?

Singing in the Rain
Purple Rain
Have You Ever Seen the Rain?
November Rain
Rainy Night in Georgia
     View Results