“Changing the face of the inner city:” Neighborhood Revitalization Project unveils newest home

Published 2:00 pm Saturday, May 11, 2024

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“We are changing the face of the inner city,” said Washington Mayor Donald Sadler during ribbon-cutting ceremonies for the newest home built as part of the Neighborhood Revitalization Program (NRP). The 1,420 sq. ft. four-bedroom home is located at 706 North Gladden Street and is the second home constructed as part of the program to provide affordable housing and revitalize parts of the city. “Today is a perfect example of how low to moderate-income families can become homeowners in our community,” said Sadler. “Through our partnership with the Washington Housing Authority, we are putting property back on the books that previously were not generating any tax income for the city. At the same time, it is elevating the community and raising property values. Hopefully and prayerfully this project will continue to grow throughout the city and the county.”

Local contractor Brad Horton has been involved with the program since its inception in 2021. Born and raised in Washington, Horton has seen what the neighborhood once was, and jumped at the opportunity to be a part of the revitalization process. “We are involved throughout the entire process,” said Horton. “We also work directly with the families and get them involved with the design of the home so the end product is more of a custom home just for them. I’m proud to be a part of this effort and to be a part of the change in this area.”

The new chief executive officer of the Washington Housing Authority, Franklin Scott, Jr., said the unveiling of the latest home is a perfect example of what can be done through partnership and vision. “People need to understand this is not a flip or something that we are trying to capitalize on,” said Scott. “This is an opportunity for us to embrace a family that is willing to go through the rigors of the program, provide them a home, and together elevate the community. Where there is no hope, we bring in some hope through support, education, and commitment, and in the end, we have a beautiful home like we have right here. This is a special day!”

Special indeed for new homeowner Sierra Collins the new homeowner, who was unfortunately unable to attend the ribbon cutting because of her work schedule but was represented by her father Marvin Ruffin. “We really appreciate the City of Washington and the Housing Authority for giving her the opportunity to purchase this home,” said Ruffin. “This is a great opportunity for her and her children to be in a better home than they are now. This is a very special day for us, a true blessing.”

The Neighborhood Revitalization Program was started in 2021 through a partnership between the City of Washington and the Washington Housing Authority. Its goal is to provide low to moderate-income families with the opportunity to build generational wealth by revitalizing the historical sections of the city.