Columbus targets poverty stricken neighborhoods for facelifts

By Roslyn Giles  - email | bio

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Several Columbus neighborhoods pegged as needing a facelift by city leaders have been identified as targets for redevelopment.  The Columbus Planning Department will rely on Census data to help them confirm high areas of poverty, low income in terms of housing values and accessibility to jobs.

"The main areas include Second Avenue, East Highland, Beallwood, Baker Village and Lawyers Lane and there may be others," said Rick Jones, Director of Planning.

Eloise Hudson thinks it's a great idea.  She's lived in Columbus since the 1960s. Hudson added, she remembers when the Lawyers Lane community was beautiful.

"The houses were very nice and people took care of their properties.  Mostly Caucasians lived here then. Now, houses are torn downed, boarded up and it just doesn't look good."

Hudson is elated to know the city is hoping to qualify for federal dollars through Community Development Block Grants to revitalize the economically depressed areas plagued with dilapidated conditions and aging infrastructure.

Jones explained preliminary work has already been done.  The next step is to draft a redevelopment plan using Census data to confirm the key factors.

The process also includes revealing the plan to residents like Hudson before implementation to see if the city's roadmap is on target with improvements residents would like to see.

"Just don't talk the talk, but walk the walk because there are some bad areas around here," according to Hudson.

Jones says there's no timeline for the projects to start.

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