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City aims to speak home ownership
Housing program touted, honored
Klink Construction crew members Joseph Howell, Steven Cronk and David Fowler work on the outside of a house that is part of the Azalea Street Redevelopment Project. - photo by Photo by Lauren Hunsberger
You can see the difference along Azalea Street as the city continues to replace the dilapidated homes that once lined the street with new ones.
However, Hinesville Assistant City Manager Kenny Howard said the project is far from an average government-developed neighborhood. It’s become a ground-breaking solution to low-income housing and redevelopment projects.
“It’s the only program like it in the state,” Howard said.
The Georgia Department of Community Affairs, which funds similar projects across the state, agreed and recently awarded its Outstanding Homeowners Achievement Award to the city.
Howard said the residents who will occupy the three-phase development make it unique. The city has already received and is applying for more grants under the Community Home Investment Program and other DCA programs to allow the city to help low-income families own homes.
In the same neighborhood, other potential homeowners with higher incomes are able to apply to the state-wide Georgia Dream Homeownership Program for a chance at low-interest mortgages and other benefits that help families own homes for the first time.
“It integrates the community in a way that will have people with low- and moderate-income levels together with the same quality of life,” Howard said. “It’s really is the perfect solution for redevelopment.”
He said it was difficult crunching numbers and juggling grants to get the development planned. He’s been working on it since an extensive, city-wide survey (conducted by CDA and local officials) first deemed the street “most in need of improvement” seven years ago.
“There’s no one-size-fits-all answer,” he said. “I had to be very creative with the finances.”
Although planning, grant-applying and waiting was tedious, Howard said construction is well under way and moving rapidly.
The first phase is complete and past residents of Azalea Street, all of whose income levels meet DCA standards, are moving in. Phase 2 will also house many area residents.
Howard said the homes in Phase 3 will be open to the public and available for financing through the Georgia Dream program.
Howard expects Phase 2 to be done in 18 months and Phase 3 to be complete two years after that.
For more information or to apply for the Georgia Dream Program, visit
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