The Covington Redevelopment Authority has purchased several vacant lots in Walker's Bend off Ga. Highway 81 and plans to partner with local builders to construct smaller, energy efficient homes. The $300,000 grant from Community Home Investment Program will go toward downpayment assistance when these homes are sold.
The Community Home Investment Program is designed to increase affordable housing for low-income residents and is sponsored by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs. The subdivision was targeted because of a high foreclosure rate.
Up to $14,999 will be available per home and the homeowner will be required to remain in the home for a set number of years based on assistance level, said city grant writer Randy Conner. The city has not been given a date for when it will receive the funds.
Planning Director Randy Vinson said the redevelopment authority will craft a marketing campaign to tell people about the program and how to apply.
"This is a huge victory for our home-buying citizens and the volunteer citizen teams that work tirelessly to improve our housing," Covington Mayor Kim Carter wrote in an e-mail. "This is a true partnership between the City government and private citizens."
Covington was one of 17 cities and non-profit groups to receive a grant.