5 new habitat homes aimed to revamp East Highland - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

5 new habitat homes aimed to revamp East Highland

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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

One particular block on 23rd Street in Columbus looked very different about 10 years ago. Dilapidated homes lined the street, gangs ran rampant, and there were constant shootings in the area. Some parents with small children were forced to move elsewhere.

Now, Habitat for Humanity is stepping in with hopes of improving the area.

"We are building new homes, and then we are also going to be doing some rehabilitations to some existing homes next year, and that is doing some facade improvements to help them become a little more neighbor friendly," said Columbus Habitat Director Brinkley Pound.  

The first Habitat home is expected be built on a vacant lot 14th Avenue. Four more homes are expected to be built on a vacant lot facing 23rd Street.

"We're not just working on one corner of East Highland. We are thinking three, four, five years down the road. Where are we going to be in East Highland? What are we doing? What are we looking to accomplish here?" Ryan Willoughby explained. 

With the help of the Midland Chick-Fil-A, they broke ground for the first home on Sunday, August 18. This will be the first time Chick-Fil-A builds a home in the Columbus area.    

The stretch of land across from the new home will remain empty until March 2014, when construction will begin on the four homes slated to occupy the space.

Brinkley Pound with Habitat says they decided to come back to East Highland because their work in the once troubled area wasn't finished. 

"You have to stay after things. You have to come back and look at things. You can't just do it and let it go," Pound said. 

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