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Gainesville to get $1 million for housing project
State grant to help fund affordable housing
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Gainesville has accepted a $1 million grant from the state to build affordable homes in the city.

Housing Manager Chris Davis said he anticipates constructing seven homes with the grant money. 

Revenue from the sale of these homes will then be reinvested in additional projects.

Davis said the money will help the city address flagging homeownership.

“That’s our goal,” he added.

Just 35 percent of homes in Gainesville are owner-occupied, Davis said.

The city may partner with Habitat for Humanity of Hall County, though details of this collaboration remain to be worked out.

Davis has identified a city-owned property at the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and McDonald Street to build homes.

But getting this project off the ground may depend on whether the city can acquire an adjacent parcel owned by First Baptist Church.

An environmental review and marketing plan, among other conditions of the grant, must be completed before construction can begin.

The funds must be spent within two years.

Gainesville and Atlanta were the only two cities in the state to receive $1 million in funding from the state Department of Community Affairs.

The city is currently renovating a home on Desota Street, among other projects.

“People will say that’s what got us into the whole financial mess,” Councilman Sam Couvillon said. “But if somebody owns a house, in general, they’re going to take better care of it than if they rent.”