The public-private partnership between the City of Rome and the South Rome Redevelopment Corp. formally added four new homes to the South Rome inventory Friday with the promise of at least three more on the way soon.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held for the four homes at the intersection of South Broad Street and Pollock Street Friday afternoon.
One has already been sold, another is under contract, a third has several applicants in the system with a sale pending which leaves just one, at 8 Pollock St., open unless deals fall through on the other homes.
Charles Looney, executive director of the South Rome Redevelopment agency, said he’s hoping the name South Meadows will stick for the new developments on Pollock Street, South Broad Street and Peachtree Street. The agency has also partnered with the Williams S. Davies Shelters for a community garden in the same area, which has also been targeted in the 2017 SPLOST package for recreational development related to activity on the Coosa River.
The first four homes were constructed thanks to a grant from the Georgia Department of Community Affairs. When the homes are sold, the money will be pumped right back into new housing.
“We’ve had a vision for many years and grant dollar by grant dollar it’s coming together,” said Bekki Fox, director of the city community development office.
Over the last two decades, the city, now partnering with the South Rome agency, has built over 40 new single-family homes. She said there just are not any developers doing speculative housing in low-income areas.
“But we did it,” Fox said.
The South Rome Redevelopment agency donated the land for the homes and paid for grading and tree removal to help keep the homes affordable. The city of Rome waived water and sewer taps and surveying for the lots.
Wells Fargo provided a grant for appliances, stainless steel ranges, microwaves and refrigerators, which Looney said eliminates a major expense to the homebuyers. The bank has already provided a grant for the next three homes which will be constructed on Peachtree Street, lots that were obtained through the Rome-Floyd Land Bank Authority.
Looney said that clearing of the lots on Peachtree Street will get underway in about two weeks and construction bids will be put out shortly after grading gets started.
Cargle Brothers served as the general contractor of the four homes, which are being offered to qualified purchasers.
The homes are sold at cost, which ranges from approximately $95,000-$98,000.
Looney is hoping to acquire additional lots that front South Broad Street in the same general area.
“We have the potential to do a whole lot of housing over here,” Looney said.