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Repairs on the first two Carver Gardens homes included in a nearly $1 million housing rehabilitation initiative are projected to begin before the end of the year.
Abbitt Woodall, director of Housing Partnerships, a Williamsburg nonprofit that is coordinating and partially funding the effort, said there are bids out now for contractors to work on the first two homes. Bids for two more homes will go out later this week.
Woodall said his goal is to have those four houses under construction within two months. All rehabilitation work at a home must be completed within a 60-day window, Woodall said.
“By Christmastime we want people to really see a significant impact with houses getting fixed and having people back in their homes,” Woodall said. “It will really help when people start seeing the physical construction process.”
The repair work, which includes upgrading heating and electrical systems, resolving plumbing issues and replacing asbestos siding, will be completed for 17 homes using a $933,690 community development block grant York County received in March from the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development.
An additional $50,000 will come from the county and $20,000 will come from Housing Partnerships.
The neighborhood was built in the 1950s and some homes still have the original heating system, Woodall said.
“We’re not focused on cosmetic issues,” Woodall said. “We’re really looking at the structure and the components that are going to make the house safe and healthy for the homeowners going forward.”
Three homes in this first project phase will be demolished and replaced with modest, energy-efficient houses, Woodall said.
Montgoussaint Jons, a York County planning commissioner and Carver Gardens resident, said the first phase of the project will be beneficial to all residents.
“It certainly will increase the value of their property, so I think it’s a win-win situation,” Jons said.
Woodall said Housing Partnerships aims to offer the same repairs to all homes in the community, but more than $4 million is needed to fund the total project, which he expects will be completed over several years.
A large sign installed earlier this month outside the Carver Gardens neighborhood is not just a shout-out to the donors funding the project — it signifies the project has officially begun, Woodall said.
“We want to show that yes, we’re getting started and you’ll really start seeing some progress now,” Woodall said.