The city of Birmingham, Ala., will begin investing in “blighted neighborhoods,” reports Birmingham Watch.
Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin announced his 100 homes in 100 days program last week. The program will spend over $1 million to renovate dilapidated homes, beginning as early as mid-August. Funds for the program come from the sale of two Birmingham properties, a parking deck and the site for a new data center, according to Birmingham Watch. City officials say the sales generated $1.6 million.
Birmingham is partnering with the local chapter of Neighborhood Housing Services to locate homes in need of repair, including occupied homes. Low-income residents and senior citizens who own homes are eligible for up to $10,000 in renovations for each home.
Property values, median income, and homeownership rates in Birmingham are all below the national average, while the poverty rate is more than twice the national average at 29.4 percent.
Neighborhood Housing Services is already working to identify homeowners who meet the criteria for the program and to secure contractors to do the renovations, said Kelleigh Gamble, chief executive officer of Neighborhood Housing Services, according to Birmingham Watch.
The 100 homes in 100 days project will focus on five neighborhoods in need. “Our plan is to bundle our work to transform entire blocks instead of renovating one home on a street, which would otherwise be surrounded by blight,” said Woodfin, according to the local outlet.
Additional development plans are to be expected in the future. “As additional economic development projects pay off, we will be deploying those resources as soon as they are identified and committed,” said Woodfin.
Brianna is an Emma Bowen Foundation Fellow with Next City for summer 2018. She's a rising senior at Penn State University, majoring in media studies. She intends to graduate in May 2019.