AHIP Gets Funding for Crozet Neighborhood Home Improvements
The Albemarle Housing Improvement Program (AHIP) is receiving some more money and a second chance to fix up another round of houses in the Crozet area.
AHIP was turned down for the same grant not too long ago, but Wednesday it learned that Governor McDonnell added almost an additional $4 million to the community development block funding for six projects in Virginia, including AHIP.
It was disappointing news last summer when AHIP didn't receive a grant to improve homes in the Orchard Acres neighborhood in Crozet.
"When we start a grant effort like this we have to have a lot of community meetings and get people excited about it, so it's really hard to have to go back to them a couple months later and say, ‘oh sorry we didn't get the grant,'" said Jennifer Jacobs, AHIP's executive director.
But Wednesday, the nonprofit dedicated to helping create safe homes received some exciting news that will help jump-start its operations again. It will receive a $700,000 grant to resume its rehabilitation project.
Tim Tolson, president of the Crozet Community Association, said, "I think this will be like Christmas Day again to hear that it's been funded and that it will be moving forward."
Most of the homes, built in the 1950s, are in dire need of repairs that many owners are not capable of completing themselves.
"It's great news that we're able to get the funding for these folks, particularly since there's been a lot of new construction out in Crozet and we worry about - with all the new construction - with all the stuff that's already here gets ignored, and this proves that we're not ignoring it," Tolson said.
That's where AHIP steps in, and puts the grant money to use.
"It's a terrible amount of stress to know that things are going wrong with your houses and you don't have wherewithal to fix them," Jacobs said. She went on to say, "It's an incredible load off to know that something is fixed and you don't have to worry about an electrical problem or the roof leaking or the furnace not working anymore," Jacobs said.
AHIP hopes to start rehabilitating houses by mid-summer. It plans to fix about 25 homes within the next year or two with that grant money.