City grants half-million grant to church

St. John's Estates in east Albany. / Jessica Fairley

A local church is receiving half a million dollars to improve local housing.

Anyone who's driven by east Albany's St. John's Estates knows it's a neighborhood in need of repair. Mount Olive Community Outreach Center has taken on the challenge of fixing up the neighborhood and now the church is receiving $500,000 worth of help from the city of Albany.

The funds come to Albany from the federal government and a regulation states that the city must provide 15 percent of the money to promote affordable housing.

Officials want to use the money to bring people back to east Albany and revive the community.

Mount Olive has already gotten the ball rolling when it comes to bringing families back to the area. So far, they've renovated 50 of the 300 homes in the St. John's Estates community.

"We already have tenants who have moved in. Several homeowners in some of the properties who've come in and purchased the houses are first time homeowners," said Benny Hand, Mount Olive Project Manager.

The grant funds from the city will allow the church to start renovations on 40 additional homes for families looking to rent.

The homes are set up for low to moderate income families.

Stay connected to as stories develop and the FOX 31 Newscast at 10 PM. Visit us on Facebook and Twitter to join in on the conversation and connect with FOX 31!