City, Neighborworks team up to put more families in homes

Video: The Sunday Interview with Cathy Williams

This is a video excerpt from the Sunday Interview with Cathy Williams, executive director of NeighborWorks Columbus.
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This is a video excerpt from the Sunday Interview with Cathy Williams, executive director of NeighborWorks Columbus.

Columbus Council on Tuesday approved spending about $300,000 in Home Investment Partnership Program funds to help poor people afford a place to live.

Neighborworks Columbus Inc. will partner with the city to help low-income people get into decent, safe, and sanitary housing in Columbus.

“Homeownership is a stabilizing factor for communities and families,” the proposal to council reads. “This program will provide those desiring to become homeowners with the tools and financing needed to achieve their goal.”

Neighborworks will use the $300,000 to provide first mortgage assistance, gap subsidy or down-payment assistance which will enable applicants to become homeowners. Applicants must meet the minimum qualifications and receive homebuyer counseling. Neighborworks also will be responsible for qualifying the applicants, reviewing loan packages, and loan servicing.

The Home Investment Partnership Program is a Housing and Urban Development program that provides grants that communities use to fund housing assistance to low-income people. The funds used for this partnership are from prior year grant allocations that were not used and would have expired if not committed immediately.

Fill out survey

The Georgia Department of Transportation is partnering with the Federal Highway Administration to conduct a survey of travel habits and needs around Georgia. The survey results will help the national and state DOTs to better plan for the future.

It’s called the National Household Travel Survey and is conducted every five to eight years to help with planning and policy making.

So, what does that have to do with Columbus specifically? It seems that not many of us seem to care.

The survey’s goal is to reach about 8,720 Georgia households. Of those, the goal is to have 885 households in the Columbus region complete the survey. But so far, 1,671 households have been contacted here, and only 134 have completed the survey.

“That’s about half the level of the rest of Georgia and at the national level, and we’re not certain why this is happening, so we’re doing some outreach,” said Stacey Bricka, with the ETC Institute, a marketing outfit helping with the survey.

So if you’re contacted, fill out the form. You’re making us look lazy.