One really important topic when looking at how to make cities more appealing is having affordable housing that allows people to participate in the housing market more equitably. As more and more young people enter the workforce and rise in the ranks in their careers, their ability to buy a home becomes an important point, and as many jobs have gone remote, cities do have to appeal to those workers in new ways. Affordable housing, for both low-income, as well as medium-income individuals and families, is critical to having people live better lives in the places they are choosing to live.
There has been an increased focus on the topic over the last few years. The City of Pembrook has received a grant of 1.35 million from the Georgia Department of Community Affairs to make improvements to current critical structures as well as to build a few new homes in the area as well.
Here’s some background:
In total, the Georgia Department of Community Affairs awarded $1.35M to the city of Pembroke. Of this total, $750,000 will go towards relining the sewer lines in Pembrook, which are essential to public health in the city. Also, $600,000 will be going towards building four homes for middle-income individuals/families in the area under the Community HOME Investment Program. This program’s mission is to:
The purpose of the Community HOME Investment Program (CHIP) is to provide safe, decent, and affordable housing in Georgia by granting funds to city and county governments, public housing authorities, and nonprofits to 1.)rehabilitate owner-occupied homes and 2.) build and renovate affordable single-family homes for sale to eligible homebuyers.”
Pembroke City Administrator Alex Floyd spoke on this grant award:
We finished the application in early March and started working on it last October. We applied for $750,000 and were happy to get it.“We have three basins in our sewer system. Basins two and three are all terra cotta pipes. We’ll be lining the terra cotta pipes with polyvinyl chloride pipe so you don’t really dig up the older pipe. It will be a PVC system. Those existing terra cotta pipes are from the 1950s. Every city our size that put in a sewer system around that time period used terra cotta; it’s everywhere. It sweats, it cracks and roots grow into it. It was the best they had in those days.”
Here’s why programs like this are so important:
The funds were awarded by Georgia’s Georgia Department of Community Affairs through a community development block grant. These programs are super important in helping make cities better places to live. The actual goal of CDBGs (which are federally funded) is to “benefit low-to-moderate income people by providing resources for livable neighborhoods, economic empowerment, and decent housing.” This will allow more communities to have access to good quality housing, economic opportunities, and safer neighborhoods. Grant programs like this are absolutely essential to progress.