The Community Action Commission (CAC) of Fayette County is working with Woda Group Inc. and is utilizing a variety of grants, investors and other monies to update a housing facility and build a new one in the county.
Bambi Baughn, executive director of CAC, and Steve Creed, housing director of CAC, met with the WODA Project Superintendent Del Hollern Tuesday to do a brief tour of the work being done on two buildings in Washington Court House that will help to combat homelessness in the county. The Woda Group Inc. and its affiliates are nationally recognized and experienced developers, general contractors, and property manager.
The first of these projects is on U.S. Route 22 West and has been a housing facility for many years. It is need of repairs and updates which includes new siding, walls, windows, doors, a roof and water system.
Other features the group intends on including are new bathrooms, TVs, and beds for all of the residents of that facility. They will also be adding a community room, manager’s office space and other amenities that will make the facility more useful to those seeking economical housing. This project, according to Hollern, will be finished within a month and the residents will be able to move back.
The new facility that is being added to the program is currently being built where Wintersong Village used to sit on the corner of Rawlings and Delaware streets. The building was gutted and, according to Hollern, nearly 40 percent is still intact and will be used with additions to make the new facility. The new building will feature housing spaces complete with small kitchen areas, a private bathroom and living space for a bed and other necessities. Some of the spaces will feature a complete separate room attached to make a bigger area for the apartments.
The building is being fitted with a new roof, additional walls and rooms that are being built to expand the facility and allow more space to fit the needs of Fayette County residents struggling with living arrangements. The location will also feature a community room and storage areas for the new residents. As long as Hollern and his crew continue to work at their already “ahead of time” schedule, this facility could be ready to go as early as July. However, they have until the end of the year to finish the project.
“The purpose of these facilities is the same,” Baughn said during an interview Tuesday. “They are for people who are chronically homeless. There is no men’s shelter in our county. So what we do, if someone comes in and they are homeless and we have openings in our county supportive housing, because of Housing First, they no longer have to go through a housing ready assessment. We can permanently place them in this housing. If they like it, they can stay and if it is not what they want, they are free to leave. That’s what we have, we had nothing for single men. The problem we ran into when you do permanent supportive housing is the lack of a time limit. They like it, then they stay and unfortunately we always have an issue with homelessness and we had nowhere to put them. So we wanted to get a new place to put the rising amount of people needing a home.”
Baughn said the program works by helping the residents pay less for rent than what they would if they went to an actual home or apartment. The rent is set at 30 percent of the resident’s gross income, because of rent assistance to make up the difference. If there is no income, that assistance will cover the rent for the resident. If a person is disabled, the program has counselors that will help that person get connected with benefits to help them survive, and if the person needs to find a job, the counselors can help with that as well. Additionally, with internet capabilities coming to the program, residents will have many tools to help them find a productive future.
Creed mentioned that this is not the only housing assistance CAC offers. Between rent assistance for someone who lost their job or needs to find a home, to low income home ownership programs, CAC has many offers available to make sure people get and stay in the house.
For more information about this program, or the multitude of other options for home assistance, call Creed at (740) 335-1831 or CAC at (740) 335-7282.
Reach Martin Graham at (740) 313-0351 or on Twitter @MartiTheNewsGuy