NeighborWorks Awarded $395,00 grant

NeighborWorks Columbus has been awarded a $395,400 federal grant to revitalize neighborhoods, promote affordable housing and create jobs in Columbus.

U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop made the announcement in a recent news release issued to the media. He said the national funding is appropriated through the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2015. The money is allocated by NeighborWorks America, which determined which NeighborWorks agencies across the nation would be funded.

“I commend NeighborWorks America and its willingness to invest in Columbus and support the American dream by providing this significant grant,” said Bishop. “I am very thankful for the diligent work of NeighborWorks Columbus, as their effort to help families find a home not only creates jobs and provides basic security, but also strengthens our communities throughout the greater Chattahoochee Valley.”

Cathy Williams, executive director of NeighborWorks Columbus, said the agency is thrilled to receive the funding.

“It’s one of the largest allocations we’ve ever gotten and we’re going to do good things with it,” she said.

Williams said the money would go to a variety of programs, which include lending, real estate development and neighborhood revitalization and stabilization. One major project that will get a boost is a Beallwood revitalization initiative called “Big 4 Beallwood.”

It will begin this summer with help from a faith-based mission organization called TEAMeffort, which will bring in hundreds of students in June and July to work in the Beallwood neighborhood. They will fix up homeowners’ houses, clean up the neighborhood and do landscaping and painting. Williams said Habitat for Humanity is scheduled to build four new homes in the area, and NeighborWorks will construct two cottages. She said NeighborWorks is working with other local organizations on a landscaping and beautification project and employment in the area.

Beallwood is also the location for a proposed $1.4 million NeighborWorks Columbus project to build senior veteran apartments in the neighborhood. The project, originally planned for Winterfield, was relocated to Beallwood because of problems with infrastructure in Winterfield, according to Williams.

“I think it’s exciting for Columbus,” she said of the grant. “And I know it’s going to be good for Beallwood.”

Alva James-Johnson, 706-571-8521. Reach her on Facebook at AlvaJamesJohnsonLedger.