Federal grant to help revitalize core Augusta neighborhoods

Published: Nov. 15, 2021 at 2:42 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 15, 2021 at 2:45 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Augusta will receive a $450,000 federal grant to help plan revitalization of the Laney Walker, Harrisburg and Bethlehem neighborhoods.

The two-year planning grant will come from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

With the funding, Augusta will develop a plan for the neighborhoods that adjoin the Allen Homes public housing development.

Officials say they’ll incorporate extensive community engagement.

Citing affordable housing as “one of the driving forces for economic prosperity,” City Administrator Odie Donald II said the money will help “address the connected challenges between revitalizing distressed neighborhoods and providing affordable housing to allow residents to benefit from the growth and improvement of their community.”

Medical College of Georgia Foundation President and CEO Ian Mercier expressed similar sentiments.

“This grant is an expression of belief in these communities and Augusta, not just by those who put this complex grant together, but by HUD and our development partners,” said Mercier.

Augusta Land Bank Authority Executive Director Shawn Edwards said the efforts emphasize “a commitment to maintaining affordable housing in a rapidly developing urban core.”

The Laney Walker and Harrisburg areas are getting an infusion of revitalization money in recent months.

Among the efforts is construction of the Hub for Community Innovation at Wall Street and Chaffee Avenue.

The home for nonprofits and community service groups is part of a $10 million investment in the neighborhood by the Augusta National Golf Club and its corporate partners.

The hub is expected to open in spring of 2022, although the timeline is fluid.

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