Louisville city leaders tackling home repairs with new city program

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LOUISVILLE, G.A. (WJBF) – Louisville city leaders are taking action to fix up some old and dilapidated homes in the area.

“That’s a real hazard, a child or anybody might stick their hand in there and get shocked,” said Mayor of Louisville Jenny Smith.


That’s just one of the many safety hazards inside Laverne Higgs’ home.

“From the water leaks underneath the sinks and behind my washer and dryer, it’s rotted out. But it’s hard to ,you know keep stuff going, when it’s nobody but you in the house,” said homeowner Laverne Higgs.


She’s even tried to fix some of those issues on her own.


“Once before the water heater had burst and had mess up the floor and I had to put another floor in there, but eventually throughout the years, you know it started back rotting again,” she said.


Higgs says she’s spent more than 1300 dollars on in-home repairs.


“Yes, and I don’t have that kind of money to spend, because I’m on social security,” she said.


But Higgs isn’t the only homeowner with a story like this.


“We’ve noticed for a long time that are in desperate need of repair and yet many of our homeowners are low income and there is no way they have the money for a 7 thousand dollar roof, ” said Mayor Smith.


She says city leaders have decided to use the funds the city received from the American Rescue Plan to start a low-income homeowner renovation program.


“So we have 20 applicants, we have just recently completed our home inspection reports and our primary concern was roofs as you see on this house, but also any issue related to safety and health and things of that sort, ” said Mayor Smith.


The city documented the inspections and found a variety of problems in each home, the most common being roof issues.


Mayor Smith tells NewsChannel 6 some of the homes were at least 50 to 100 years old. Problems ranged from electrical to leaks causing flooding and molding.


“Many of these homes are small and closed in so when you have that kind of water damage you are very likely to end up with an extensive roach problem, the German roaches, as well as damaging the floor to the point where someone could fall in, ” the mayor explained.


Most Louisville residents are excited about the new program.


“It’s helping the community in a lot of ways, because some people are not able to do these things, they may be disabled, ” said Higgs.


“I was very excited about it, because I knew I needed a new rooftop, ” said homeowner Dienna Pinkston.


And the whole city will benefit from the upgrades.


“We believe we will be improving the city of Louisville versus this house we just looked at it’s a very prominent house you can’t miss it when you drive out Louisville, and that’ll make the city more attractive as a whole, ” said Mayor Smith.

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