NeighborWorks celebrates new home owners

NeighborWorks Columbus celebrated 39 new home owners Friday afternoon during a ceremony marking the conclusion of the home ownership componet of the HOPE VI project.

NeighborWorks Columbus, partnering with the Housing Authority of Columbus, the city of Columbus, and the federal government, exceeded the targeted goal of 33 new homeowners during the project.

The event, in East Wynnton Park, kicked off with a performance by the drumline from G.W. Carver High School, and featured remarks from those involved in the project.

Speaking were Cathy Williams, executive director of NeighborWorks Columbus, Len Williams, executive director of the Housing Authority of Columbus, Columbus Mayor Jim Wetherington, and Congressman Sanford Bishop.

"This is the completion of a lot of hard work and the completion of a dream,"said Bishop.

The Columbus Housing Authority received a 2002 HOPE VI grant of $20 million. The revitalization funded by this grant provides for the demolition of 510 severly distressed public housing units and their replacement with a new mixed-income community. Phase I of the project, the home ownership component, included the development of the 39 offsite home ownership units for public housing-eligible families. They were developed on vacant sites owned by the City of Columbus and NeighborWorks Columbus.