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      City celebrates home reconstruction

      Before shot of 703 E. Cummings Street

      I am truly grateful to the city for the work on my home, said Valdosta homeowner Phyllis Jackson at a City of Valdosta reconstruction ribbon cutting ceremony, at 703 E. Cummings Street, on Oct. 30. The home is located in one of the city TMs Designated Revitalization Areas.The city contracted locally with MD Contracting, who is certified through the Valdosta Small Emerging Business (VSEB) program, utilizing funds from the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), Community Home Investment Program (CHIP) and the Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) of Atlanta. The home was rebuilt into a KC-910 style home, derived after Hurricane Katrina, and features a 1,185 square-foot home on a long narrow lot. The project is one way the city plans to eliminate substandard housing within the city limits by the year 2020. Valdosta Mayor John Gayle, District 2 Councilwoman Diedra White, District 3 City Councilman Sonny Vickers, Michael Jackson of MD Contracting, Neighborhood Development Division and other city staff, and family and friends were present at the event to help Ms. Jackson cut the ribbon on her new home. When my grandmother had this house built in 1953, it was built with lighter wood, said Ms. Jackson. It is by the grace of God that there hasn TMt been a fire here. In fact, the only improvements that have been made to my home since it was built was roof work, so this much-needed reconstruction project is a major blessing to me and my family.To be eligible for the reconstruction home program, the homeowner must meet income eligibility and must reside in the home, and the home must be deemed unsafe for occupancy. The city TMs Rehabilitation Construction Coordinator conducts a feasibility study to determine if the cost of home repairs exceeds 50 percent of the home TMs value. If so, the home is considered for reconstruction utilizing the various resources of applicable grant funding and the hiring of local contractors.The Neighborhood Development Division is responsible for directing, coordinating and managing all programs receiving local, state, or federal funding for neighborhood and community development for the City of Valdosta.