VALDOSTA – The City of Valdosta held a ribbon-cutting ceremony earlier this month for a newly reconstructed home on New Hudson Street.
The reconstructed house was built utilizing Community Development Block Grant funding, city officials said in a statement.
The home reconstruction was a CDBG project that took three months to complete. Homeowners Annie and Leon Pride now have a new home, city officials said.
To eliminate demolition costs, the Valdosta Fire Department used the Prides' original home for a live burn training. Once the burn training was finished, the lot was cleared and work began on the new home.
“I am so happy to have a new home,” Annie Pride said. “My eyes were glued to the home when I was first able to walk in and see it after it was done. I was so excited.”
The Prides' new home is one of many CDBG homes that 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 program for its determination to provide decent, safe and affordable housing and increased economic opportunities for citizens of the City of Valdosta," city officials said.
“The Prides' original home was in pretty rough shape. The cost of rehabbing it would have been far more than what we ended up doing which was demolishing the structure and bringing back a brand new structure for the Pride family,” said Vanassa Flucas, city neighborhood development director. “Although we have a large pool of homeowners in our community, we do still have a large group of people who really can’t afford to do major maintenance on their homes. With our program we can put the money back into the community, in areas it’s needed the most. ”
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 and the Single Unit Housing Rehabilitation Program.
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. The application period for the program opens in January.
For more information, call the Neighborhood Development Division, (229) 671-3617.