SAVANNA, GEORGIA (WSAV) – Buying a home is not an option for thousands of families across the country. In Savannah, a local organization is working to create more affordable options while preserving the city’s rich history.
“The family lived in this house. They have a story similar to what you have a story in your home, in your home and in your family, ”explained Sue Adler, CEO and President of the Historic Savannah Foundation, describing the motivation for their new affordable housing pilot program. .
HSF has spent the last 60 years working to preserve places whose stories have helped form the basis of what Savannah looks like today.
“HSF has a 60-year history of rescuing vacant historic sites, but this is really the first for us because we renovate the building from start to finish and then sell it specifically for affordable housing,” said Ryan Arvey, director of the organization. preservation and historical values. “We want, by saving this house, not only to preserve the physical structure, but we want to really preserve and preserve the character of the area, and that includes, most importantly, the people who now live here.”
The recently donated house on 39th Street will launch a new initiative. For the past ten years it has been one of many vacant homes in the historic Kailer-Brownsville area. Thirty percent of the area’s real estate is vacant, and many are eventually demolished.
“How many decades ago were houses destroyed on this corner, and it’s still a wasteland, right? It doesn’t help, ”Arvai said. “The community is not helping the neighborhood. Like an empty property that constantly attracts garbage. This attracts illegal behavior. This contributes to vandalism. So this empty house has a lot of potential in the trap. ”
Arvai hopes that the drive for more affordable housing will also help with the growing number of people facing home insecurity.
“Many times homeless people were one or two steps away from finding a home, but they could not afford it. And so, you know, affordability by providing more affordable housing, I hope we somehow stop the wave of homelessness, ”Arvai explained.
Once the house is completed, HSF will work with Savannah Initial Payments Assistance Program so families can apply for historic property. They also plan to implement their affordable housing project in as many neighborhoods as possible.