Huntsville Community Development, volunteers renovate two homes owned by seniors

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama – On Monday, volunteers helped the City of Huntsville Community Development Department renovate two homes owned by area seniors.

Volunteers updated the exterior of the houses, added handicapped ramps, and helped clean up the yard.

The Deferred Maintenance Rehabilitation Program is a service provided by the City of Huntsville Community Development for seniors or disabled members of the community whose homes may have exterior issues.

The city runs the program, but it is powered by volunteers. These volunteers donate their time and resources to the city’s Homeowner Assistance Block Grant program.

“We were able to recruit probably at least 15-20 volunteers today to come and help us in this time of giving,” said Scott Erwin, director of community development.

Erwin says the two houses under construction on Monday morning date from the 1940s and 1950s and were owned by two very deserving members of the town.

“We’ve had some great candidates here who are truly great citizens and individuals, so we’re happy to be able to use the volunteer resources to help them out today,” Erwin continued.

James Edward Jamar was one of the lucky two to receive improvements to his house.

Jamar was visited by the mayor of Huntsville, Tommy Battle, and said he must have done something right to get these renovations.

“I built this house,” Jamar told News 19. “I helped build it in 1955 and lived here, moved somewhere else and came back a couple of times.”

Erwin and Battle both say it’s a victory for the city, not to mention a way to show appreciation and give back to longtime residents.

“Our job right now is ‘let’s stabilize this house, let’s make it a little bit better,’ but also make it great for years to come,” Battle said. “This will be an asset to the City of Huntsville for years and years to come.

Battle says it’s not just about giving homeowners something beautiful to look at when they get home, but making sure they’re safe and the home is habitable.

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