Updated 06/27/2012 04:58 PM
City of Albany looks to revitalize South End
In an effort to fight blight, the City of Albany looks to transform some deteriorating neighborhoods. As our Erin Connolly explains, it all started with the demolition of a few vacant buildings.
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ALBANY, N.Y. --And with that, the City of Albany says goodbye to a few vacant buildings and hello to a transformed South End neighborhood.
Willie White, a City of Albany activist, said, “If you come down here 18 months from now, you're going to see something that's totally shocking from what you see today.”
Six run down properties on Delaware Street were demolished Wednesday. In its place, Habitat for Humanity has committed to building six new homes. The two and three bedroom houses are valued at almost $130,000. But the limited income families already selected will only pay $95,000, Habitat's construction costs.
Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings said, “And when people move in and actually own the home, it creates a whole new tone. They care about the neighborhood and wanted to be involved.”
Helping move this project forward was the Neighborhood Stabilization Bond. The bond, recently approved by the Albany Common Council, sets aside funding for the demolition and stabilization of abandoned properties.
Mike Jacobson, the executive director for the Habitat for Humanity of the Capital District, said, “This is testimony to when there's political will, when you have enlightened leadership like the mayor and Mike Yevoli putting their trust into the folks that have their feet on the street like the housing authority and habitat. Stuff happens.”
And this strategy doesn't only allow families to own a home, it also fixes up some neighborhoods in desperate need of some TLC.
White said, “We're on the rise. Our South End is on the rise and hopefully we can spread it through the city.”