Augusta, GA (WJBF)- The City of Augusta has received a $450,000 grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The grant will help support the development of plans for revitalizing neighborhoods in Harrisburg, Laney Walker and Bethlehem.
The Choice Neighborhood Planning Grant is a two year program that will help city officials put together a comprehensive plan for the future of those neighborhoods.
Officials said they plan to meet with people in those communities and hear their ideas.
“The planning grant will focus specifically on that. The ambition is to figure out how to best relocate those persons in the distressed neighborhood of Allen Homes, but also to incorporate them back into a community that is going to be vibrant, give them the services they need and is going to welcome them in,” said Shawn Edwards, Executive Director of Augusta Land Bank Authority.
Hawthorne Welcher Jr, Director of Augusta Housing and Community Development told NewsChannel 6 this is an opportunity for Augusta to be a role model for the United States.
“You have several persons, several organizations, states and cities, who are doing Choice Neighborhoods. Or who are doing revitalization. But when you start talking about the comprehensiveness of what we’re trying to get done, and the impact that it will create, and outside of that the drum majors being the actual community, we can do nothing but win. So it’s not just talk.”
People who live in the affected neighborhoods said that while their homes need a lot of work, they hope to see the neighborhoods cleaned up and more safety measures put in place.
Photojournalist: Reggie Mckie.