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Washington Coleman housing rehab project moving forward

SoVaNow.com / April 17, 2014
Plans are moving forward for a late May start date to the Washington Coleman Housing Rehabilitation Project, which calls for the revitalization of 14 homes and demolition of four more.

South Boston Town Council on Monday night laid the groundwork for construction to begin by approving the program’s design, as well as naming an oversight board.

The two-year project is being funded with a $600,000 Community Improvement Grant, awarded by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development with proceeds from the federal government.

The objective is to improve living condition for 35 people in the neighborhood, all in the low-to-moderate income level. The first year of the two-year project will affect 16 people, with 19 in the second year.

Over the period, 14 homes will be rehabilitated — eight in year one and six in year two. Ten homes are owner-occupied and four are investor-owned. Four more vacant and dilapidated homes will be demolished.

In year two, two additional properties will be acquired for two first-time homeowners.

According to a resolution passed by Town Council on Monday, all junk, debris, weeds and inoperable vehicles will have to be removed from the area.

The Oversight Committee will consist of South Boston Town Manager Ted Daniel, Finance Director Erle Scott, Council Member Margaret Coleman and Community Representative Ellen Kent. The group will hold monthly public meetings to oversee progress on the project.

Daniel will be the lead official, with Sangi Cooper of the Southside District Planning Commission serving as the program administrator. George Easley and Earl Howerton will serve as rehab specialists, with Halifax County building official Otis Vaughan responsible for reviewing the work upon completion by the housing contractor.

William Bouldin, Thomas Stovall and Ellen Kent will serve as project liaisons to share pertinent information with the neighborhood’s residents.

Work on the neighborhood revitalization is expected to begin shortly after contract negotiations are finalized on May 22.

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Why are 4 "investor homes" included in this? Why aren't the investors liable for the cost of modifications? They get to continue to keep their money and reap the rewards of this program in the name of structural uniformity? Maybe even raise the rent a little in the process.


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