Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

January 10, 2013

Jacksonville residents rejoice at revitalized homes

Ben Tinsley
Jacksonville Daily Progress

JACKSONVILLE — On Tuesday evening, some local residents whose houses have suffered major dilapidation over the years conveyed to the City Council their elation at having newly-constructed brick homes under the HOME Grant rehabilitation program.

"I am so very thankful," said resident Deborah Muhammed. "I'm just loving it, y’all. I go from room to room, praying and thanking God."

To the delight of Councilwoman Ann Chandler and the rest of the City Council present, Muhammed went into great detail about how she considers the newly-constructed home both a blessing and a godsend.

Muhammed and Hense Nathaniel are two of the Jacksonville residents helped by the program, which falls under the guidelines of the  U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

HOME funds are reserved for people at or below 80 percent of the Average Median Family income for a particular area. Contracts are awarded through a specific process to various municipalities — such as Jacksonville.

And the results are nothing short of spectacular, according to  Nathaniel, of the 1000 block of Bethune; and Muhammed, of the 400 block of Sellman.

A representative of the company Traylor & Associates was present to provide the council with an update on the HOME program. Representatives of Traylor & Associates have worked to help people under the HOME program for over 20 years.

The firm has administered over $60 million in housing rehabilitation programs. It also has provided project management service on projects involving more than 3,900 individual housing units, according to its literature.

Under the HOME program, attempts will be made to repair a dilapidated home  unless it is determined that is not practical. It is at this point that rebuilding is authorized.

The enthusiasm from the residents on Tuesday night spread to the council and some members of the audience. As they left, Councilman Hubert Robinson, laughing, bid the residents farewell.

"Remember what district you're in," he said with a sly smile.