Revitalization program brings together “essential pieces”

Published 5:23 pm Thursday, July 27, 2023

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The Neighborhood Revitalization Program (NRP) opened its doors to the first homeowner on July 27, 2023. 

“It’s been a long journey, but we’ve finally arrived,” Washington Housing Authority Executive Director, Michael Best, said. “We have a buyer, we have a home, we have all the essential pieces.”  

The program aims to provide opportunities for low-income families to own a home for the first time. 

According to the Washington Housing Authority’s website, “these lots are located within the city limits of Washington to rehabilitate the housing stock within the inner city of Washington and to promote homeownership to citizens that may otherwise not have an opportunity to own a home of their own. At the core of this partnership is the desire to provide families with the opportunity to begin to build generational wealth by revitalizing the historical sections of the city.” 

The City of Washington gives four loans of $176,000 each to the Washington Housing Authority so that four single-family homes can be built for families accepted into the program. The four lots are owned by the housing authority and the City of Washington. All four lots are near the corner of W Seventh Street and Gladden Street. The housing authority would like to build more homes in the future within the perimeters of Market Street to Van Norden Streets as well as Ninth Street to W Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. 

“It’s a new start, and I’m looking forward to it,” the homeowner said. The homeowner wished to remain anonymous. 

Best continued to share that when he started at the Housing Authority, one of the visions was to create “essential housing” which is synonymous with affordable housing, but is called essential because it is required for having a quality of life. 

“It’s essential for the community. In order to have a quality of life, you need a home, and that’s what we’ve been striving to obtain. So today, we’re excited about the opportunity that we have come full-circle in this process,” Best said. 

City of Washington Mayor Donald Sadler said he and his wife Alice, who is the chairperson of the Washington Housing Authority’s Board of Commissioners, are “excited to see the project through.” 

“We both grew up in this community so it’s exciting to see the area being revitalized and future homes being built for low-income families, first time homeowners,” Mayor Sadler said. 

He continued, “we’re changing the face of our inner-city with the revitalization initiative. This first ribbon cutting ignites the flame of inner-city progress.”