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Gainesville woman celebrates having home rebuilt with state grant
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First Baptist Church pastor Isaac Whitehead Jr. and Carrie Ivey hug Thursday, June 14, 2018, surround by her family members during a housewarming party. Ivey received Community HOME Investment Program funds from Hall County to make some improvements to her aging home. The program is funded by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs and helps homeowners with repairs. - photo by Scott Rogers

Carrie Ivey of Gainesville stood in the driveway of her home, which she called “God’s gift,” on Thursday afternoon, June 14, surrounded by family admiring the new space at her housewarming.

Ivey’s home was almost completely rebuilt using funds from the Georgia Department of Community Affairs Community HOME Investment Program. She is one of 16 homeowners in Hall County who has been assisted by the CHIP funds the county received in 2011 and 2012. That funding, which totaled more than $600,000, has been used to help residents with down payments, home repairs and total home reconstruction.

The CHIP program helps local governments, nonprofits and public housing authorities address the need for affordable housing.

Ivey first moved into her home on Belair Circle in Gainesville in 1972. She has been staying with family for almost a year as her home was rebuilt, and she has new floors and walls, a new kitchen and other repairs and upgrades throughout the home.

She has been in touch with county officials throughout the process and said she is grateful for the support.

“I just want to thank everybody for what they’ve done … Everybody has been so nice,” Ivey said.

She has four children and 17 grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and most of her family lives in Gainesville. She said her family visits often, and the first celebration at her new home will be a family cookout.

Samanta Carvalho from the Georgia Department of Community Affairs said she enjoyed meeting Ivey and seeing the house in person, and the newly built home would add to the surrounding community.

“It will be around for many, many more years, but also it improves the neighborhood,” she said. “People see this house and they see the potential for other houses that need to be worked on.”

CHIP applications are income-restricted. Anyone interested in learning more about the program or applying for funds can contact Joy Walker with Hall County Financial Services at 770-535-8274.

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