Local News Archive
Print Issue: January 20, 1994
The House The Community Built
by Kathi Stearns
Mrs. Maraguerite Huff, 63, of Atlanta could never get a bank loan to repair her leaky roof. But thanks to the work of Community Redevelopment, Inc. (CRI) she wont have to. Her dreams for her house near Atlanta Fulton County Stadium and her community had already started to take shape.
CRI, a non-profit corporation which provides affordable home repairs and renovation services to elderly, handicapped and low-income homeowners in Atlanta communities, has begun repairing the structure and plumbing of her house.
Christ the King parishioner Jeff Woodward founded CRI because he believed housing organizations were eager to build new houses but unwilling to work with existing houses needing major renovations.
Nobody was working with these houses and asking the communities what they wanted done, he said.
Woodward believes CRIs attitude is different. We are invited into the community to fulfill the communitys agenda not our own ... The agenda of the community becomes ours.
Professional contractors make an assessment of the condition of the premises and prepare an estimate. The fee for CRI services is based on the cost of materials plus a service fee. All labor is provided on a volunteer basis free of charge, with the exception of certain specialized contractor services not obtainable on a volunteer basis. The homeowner pays all permit fees.
Woodward, an attorney with Chamberlain, Hrdlicka, White, Williams and Martin, feels it is necessary for the communities to learn from the work done by CRI volunteers. If I dont empower anyone within that community, Ive only put a Band-Aid on the problem, he said. Therefore Woodward spends time training members of the community to organize and implement an ongoing rehabilitation program within each community where they repair a house. To date, they have provided renovations for nine houses in the Atlanta area.
Our ultimate goal is to get the neighborhood to continually rehabilitate themselves. If we dont accomplish this we are missing an incredible opportunity.
All volunteer work is completed on Saturdays and Sundays. If funding is available to hire part-time workers to continue during the week, priority is given to hiring qualified workers from within the community where the project is located.
CRI is available to community-based organizations to provide assistance with home repair work scope evaluations, title abstracting, preparation of leases and sales contracts and assistance in dealing with government authorities. The organization was established in January of 1992.
To volunteer time or supplies call Jeff Woodward of Community Redevelopment, Inc., at 933-8290.