Fox said the $5,000 cap may need to be increased to $10,000 or even $15,000 in the future. She told members of the city Community Development Services committee Tuesday that often times a roof repair can exceed the $5,000 cap and without a roof repair any interior improvements are almost useless.
The minor repair program is financed through federal Community Development Block Grant funds.
Fox also told the panel that a prospective purchase for the last of five homes on Wilson Avenue fell through, but her officer was working with the Appalachian Housing Counseling office locally in a bid to find another buyer, or at least someone willing to enter a lease purchase agreement.
Funds generated by the sale of the first five homes, $391,772 with one still on the market, will be reinvested in additional new housing. The city has worked with the South Rome Redevelopment Corp. as its developer for the homes and the corporation will continue to play that role, though Fox explained that new housing may be constructed outside of South Rome.
"West Rome might be a good test market for us," Fox said.
She reported that all of the new homes will be three-bedroom, two-bath homes, built in a cottage style, using plans purchased from an architect in Savannah.
It's unclear how many new homes will be constructed, because the price of housing materials is currently higher than it has been, in part due to the cost of rebuilding in the wake of Hurricane Florence and anticipation of damages from Hurricane Michael.
Lots for four additional new homes that will be constructed on Pollock Street in South Rome will be graded out before any construction bids for those home are sought. Those homes will be built using a ranch style, similar to the five homes on Wilson Avenue. Fox said that the layout for each lot could differ as a result of elevation differences.