Mar 23, 2022
STATESBORO, Ga. (WTGS) — The city of Statesboro launched a new Housing Rehabilitation Program Wednesday to support low-income families.
The Planning and Development administrator for Statesboro, Justin Williams, said the rehabilitation of homes is a cause with multiple benefits and hopes they can use federal funding to create a positive impact on many.
"Everyone deserves to be in a place they can call home," Williams said. "It helps the surrounding community drives away issues of crime that tend to populate in those areas, and overall, it's just the right thing to do."
After surveying the city, he added that they found a severe need for housing assistance identifying over 200 dilapidated homes.
The Director of Planning and Development, Kathy Field, said the program could also act as a way to incentivize others to make repairs.
"We have found in other cities that once you start rehabilitating homes, other owners on the street will also start to rehabilitate their homes," Field said.
According to the Statesboro Department of Planning and Development, the city received over $12 million in federal funding throughout the pandemic.
Williams added that they'd allocated a large portion of that funding towards rebuilding homes.
"We want to see some homes get fixed. I want people to have floors when they don't. I want roofs to not leak. I want structural issues that we find around the city to be resolved, and we have 5 million dollars to do it, so I hope some changes can be made," Williams said.
The city also hired a third party to help manage the program. Chris Hilbert from Insight Planning and Development said it's crucial to have a coordinated plan to ensure funds are used appropriately.
"It is important that we have a structured program, a designed program to administer the grant funds that are available, so we are making sure we are good stewards of the money that is the investment that Statesboro is putting into this," Hilbert said.
The Statesboro Department of Planning and Development encourages all low-income families with housing needs to apply for the program before the application period ends June 23.