Rome officials expect to hold an open house in early September to show off the new homes they’ve built on Pollock Street.

Part of a push to provide more affordable housing in the city, the project was funded primarily through a $612,000 grant from the Georgia Department of Community Affairs.

The South Rome Redevelopment Corp. donated the land.

“Building houses side by side makes a big difference. This has changed the face of Pollock Street,” said Community Development Director Bekki Fox.

The four adjoining lots start at the corner of South Broad Street and run down the north side of Pollock to the former Curtis Packing Co.

The vacant industrial property on the Coosa River, now owned by the city of Rome, is slated to become the site of a community boathouse and public green space.

The homes are available to qualified buyers earning up to" target="_blank">80% of the county’s median household income. For fiscal year 2019, the cap would be $47,850 for a family of four.

Fox said a family is expected to close on the blue house fronting South Broad by the end of the month.

The homes have three bedrooms, two baths, a carport, kitchen, dining area, laundry room and appliances. They’re being sold at cost, with plans to use the money from the sales to build more homes.

“The next phase will be on Peachtree Street. My goal is to break ground in January,” Fox told members of the community development committee this week.

The committee also heard and approved Fox’s five-year plan for spending an annual Community Development Block Grant awarded to improve low-income areas in the city. The 2019 action plan allocates $155,000 for housing rehabilitation, $84,000 for general administration and $186,400 for sidewalks and street improvements.

“If we didn’t have these funds, we wouldn’t have sidewalks on Maple Street,” Fox said. “Our lower-income neighborhoods would continue to decline because the city of Rome doesn’t have the dollars to make these changes.”

Crews from Spriggs Construction Co. are expected to start as early as this week on replacing the sidewalk on the east side of Maple Street between East Eighth and East 12th streets.

Fox said the 2019 money would fund Phase II, from East 12th to Brown Street.