Valdosta Family Gets New Home For Free

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By Greg Gullberg
July 24, 2013

Valdosta, GA - Phyllis Jackson is going from having one of the worst houses on the block to one of the best. And the cost to her is nothing.

The City of Valdosta is paying to build her a new house because the old one was deemed unsafe and unlivable.

"It's a dream come true for me. I don't have to worry about a mortgage. I'm just happy to receive this house. And it is a beautiful house," said Phyllis.

The house is 1,200 square feet with three bedrooms. It will be ready in mid-August for Phyllis and her granddaughter to move in. The city's goal is to eliminate substandard housing by the year 2020.

"Not only does it effect their lives and their standard of living, but their whole mental, spiritual and emotional attitude is effected by it," said Richard Joyner, Rehabilitation Construction Coordinator.

"I plan on enjoying it until the good Lord takes me home. You can take that one to the bank," Phyllis said.

The city is also funding construction of a different house on York Street for another family found to be living in sub-standard conditions. As for Phyllis and her grand daughter...

"I couldn't be happier. I really can't," said Phyllis.

- - - Eligibility - - -

Families are chosen for the program based on financial need and condition of the house. To find out if you qualify, read below.

· Homes must be located in city’s Designated Revitalization Area

· Homeowner must be low income eligible and must reside in the home

· Home must be deemed unsafe for occupancy

· A feasibility study is done to determine if the cost of repair exceeds 50 percent of the value of the home---if so, it becomes unfeasible to rehab it. (this mirrors the city ordinance and state code).

· Home is demolished and Reconstruction generally costs over $60,000, so city utilizes various resources of applicable grant funding.

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