More City of Hawkinsville News. I am very pleased to report our progress on removing blighted property in Hawkinsville. We have over 100 homes in our town that are too far gone to renovate. These houses are a detriment to our community. They are an eyesore, thus hurting economic development and hurting property values of surrounding homes. They are magnets for crime and drugs. It is simply not right for a neighbor to work hard to keep their yard and home attractive, while right next door a house is falling in and the lot is overgrown. Plus some of the houses that need to come down are burned out and hold memories of tragedies.
The City of Hawkinsville has really made this a priority in the last few years and our current status is this: 23 homes have been removed. And of those 23, 17 were removed by the owners with NO expense to the city. The 6 that the city removed, we have placed Liens on the property so that – eventually – we will get our expenses back on those as well.
The City administration and codes enforcement office, along with help from our HURA (Hawkinsville Urban Revitalization Authority) and GICH (Georgia Initiative for Community Housing) committees have helped with this effort.
But our work is not complete with JUST tearing down dilapidated houses. We also need to work on housing rehabilitation so that additional structures do not reach the dilapidated stage. The City has applied for a $300,000 CHIP grant from the state of Georgia as well as a $500,000 CBDG grant. The CHIP grant will focus on properties NORTH of Broad Street. The CBDG grant will focus on properties SOUTH of Broad Street – in particular the McDuffie Street Area. We need to make sure we have available workforce housing as we work to entice industry to our town.
ALOT of work needs to be done, but ALOT has already been done and progress is continuing.
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