Housing Authority to receive $1.8 million to construct affordable housing

Published 6:53 pm Friday, March 15, 2024

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The LaGrange Housing Authority is set to receive $1.8 million in federal funding to help with affordable housing.

LaGrange Housing Authority CEO Zsa Zsa Heard said they sought the funding from Senator Raphael Warnock’s office, which was included in an appropriations bill that Congress recently approved.

“We got the funding to be able to build more affordable housing in LaGrange,” Heard said.

The funding was included in the first Fiscal Year 2024 minibus government funding bill that was approved by the Senate 75-22 on March 8. The passage of the bill averted a partial government shutdown.

The legislation includes $207 million in direct federal funding for 74 projects across Georgia.

The legislation will provide funding to provide affordable housing access, protect vital nutritional assistance for children and families, provide infrastructure upgrades for communities across Georgia, bolster the state’s aviation economy, and strengthen healthcare for veterans and service members.

“I believe a budget is a reflection of one’s values, and this legislation, with its investments like infrastructure in Savannah, affordable housing in Columbus, and food security in Valdosta reflects my commitment to serving all Georgians,” Warnock said.

The overall bill provides $70 billion in funding for the Department of Housing and Urban Development to maintain all existing rental assistance while increasing efforts to reduce homelessness, connect people to both housing and health care and remove barriers to housing opportunities and development, including unnecessary administrative burdens.

The bill provides $4 billion for Homeless Assistance Grants, a $418 million increase above FY23 funding. It also provides $1.25 billion for the HOME Investment Partnerships Program. The funding will support the construction of more than 7,000 new affordable rental and homebuyer units nationwide.

Heard said they were awarded the funding after submitting a plan to build four quadruplexes, for a total of 16 new homes. The homes will be constructed on land already owned on Revis Street.

“It’s going to be more affordable housing coming in town at a time where we need affordable housing,” Heard said.

“It’s going to improve District 2 [in LaGrange],” Heard said. “We have an opportunity to clean up an area that is blighted, to beautify, to invigorate it, to make it better because there’s going to be new construction. This won’t be renovations. This is new construction that will go up.”

Heard said it doesn’t sound like a lot but LaGrange is in need of affordable housing, and they will be able to put more in an area where affordable housing is limited.

“The Housing Authority is there, but we only have so many units and the housing stock is not the best all the time. So we’re able to put some brand new stock and give people a brand new chance to live where it’s safe, stable and affordable,” she said.

Heard said they aren’t sure what the rent will be for the units, but it will be income-based so it will definitely be affordable.