Baptist Hill to benefit from housing grant

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Thanks to a Community Development Block Grant, some residents of the Baptist Hill area of Greenville will be able to get some much needed housing rehabilitation.

After being turned down for a similar grant last year, the $500,000 grant was welcome news to councilman Jeddo Bell, whose district will benefit from the funds.

"It's going to do a lot for the pride for people who live in that area and when people see improvement in that area they're going to want to keep it cleaner," he said. "After being turned down last year, to get this kind of news meant a great deal to us."

The grant is the third such grant the city has received in the last five years. The city will have to match the grant with $50,000 of its own money, but Greenville Mayor Dexter McLendon said it is money well spent.

"We were very surprised we did not get (the grant) last year," McLendon said. "We didn't qualify in some areas for it but we resubmitted it and got it this year. We feel it's one of the best programs we do for the citizens of Greenville."

The grant will help rehabiliate approximately 26 homes doing everything from putting on a new roof to repairing plumbing and electrical issues and McLendon said an average of approximately $17,000 will be spent on each home. Some of the funds will also be used to solve some drainage problems in the area of Hudson's Funeral Home on Hwy. 10.

"There are some places where there are some open ditches where water has been backing up and getting into houses so this will help fix that," McLendon said.

Both McLendon and Bell said a resident's meeting is slated for September where people will learn about the application process to receive the housing rehabilitation grants.

"Several people have contacted me and they're waiting for the applications so they can file for it," Bell said. "They're ready for some improvements to their property and they're very energetic about it and they will certainly appreciate it being done."

Bell said McLendon deserves a lot of the credit for getting the grant, which will be adminsistered by the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs.

"I am certainly elated over the fact that we were able to get this grant and to all persons who were instrumental in getting it," Bell said. "Dexter won't take any credit, but he's been very instrumental in getting this done."