The Azalea City will now receive more than $700,000 each year to improve housing. Valdosta City leaders are working to eliminate substandard housing by the year 2020, and thanks to Congressman Sanford Bishop, they will get more federal funding to reach their goal.
Congressman Bishop pushed for a change that allows Valdosta to become an entitlement city, receiving more than $700,000 in community development money each year.
"These funds can be utilized for a various neighborhood revitalization and community development issues that citizens identify as the needs in their neighborhood," said Mara Register of the Valdosta Community Development Office.
Citizens have already begun the process of meeting with the city and have identified three areas in need of improvement:
- The repair and revitalization of homes.
New home construction projects.
Enforcement of current city codes.
The change by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will mean big bucks for Valdosta. Before the change, the Azalea City could only be awarded $500,000 in development grant money every two years. Now, the city will get more than $700,000 each year.
"It will take time, but yes, there should be tangibles that citizens will see, with home repairs, new construction and maintenance."
Results that will not come at the cost of local taxpayers. The city of Valdosta will get its first payment from the entitlement grant next summer.