Federal Housing Funds Changing Lives in Valdosta

Nearly a dozen homeowners and two future home buyers are smiling thanks to more than $200, 000 awarded to the city of Valdosta to help them out, and now the Azalea City is setting a housing precedent in the state of Georgia.

It's a competitive process, but thanks to a little determination and a growing city, Valdosta was one of only 19 communities to receive federal housing funding to assist low and moderate-income families.

Mara Register, Community Development Director, said, "It shows the commitment of our elected officials and city manager that we are committed to providing the best possible and outstanding quality of life for all our citizens."

That commitment is why this project is receiving some unexpected attention from state officials.

City officials expect all eyes to be on Valdosta since it's the first time a housing authority and city government have worked together to restore and rebuild houses.

Mark Stalvey, Housing Authority Director, said, “As the city grows and more opportunities come to the city for grants, we are hoping to be a partner right there with the city like everybody else and just create a better living environment for the citizens of Valdosta.”

In addition to selecting the two families to receive down payment assistance for their first home, the Housing Authority will supervise all housing construction.

The city of Valdosta plans to eliminate all sub-standard housing by 2020.

City officials expect construction on the 11 houses to begin within the next couple of months.