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Rockdale receives $1.06 million NSP grant

CONYERS -- Revitalizing local neighborhoods is on the agenda for the Rockdale County Board of Commissioners.

Rockdale County has been awarded a grant by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs for its Neighborhood Stabilization Program.

The grant, known as an "NSP 3" grant, is for $1,061,838.

"Initially, this NSP 3 grant was going to be in the neighborhood of $500,000, $600,000," Rockdale County Commission Chairman Richard Oden said.

Oden said because of the hard work of the NSP, led by Tanesha Lanier, the DCA awarded Rockdale with additional funds.

The NSP proposes to minimize the effect of foreclosures on communities by purchasing abandoned and foreclosed homes, making any necessary repairs to the homes, and then selling the homes to eligible buyers.

With the addition of the NSP 3 grant, the grant money for NSP is just under $4.5 million. The NSP 3 grant will be used to target certain areas of Rockdale County. Lanier said this money will be used to stabilize subdivisions in particular.

"NSP 3 eligible areas are the Heritage High School district, and I think the Sugar Hill (area)," Lanier said. "These areas were highly affected by the foreclosures and have a high foreclosure rating. The rates have to be at least 17 (percent) or above, and these are well above that."

Oden said there are 90,000 foreclosed homes in Region 3, the Georgia region that includes Rockdale.

"We have a lot of work to do in Rockdale and in the region," Oden said.

He said he is pleased with the progress the Rockdale NSP has made so far, and hopes to expand the program further to include commercial properties.

"We're looking at opportunities for how we can expand this program. We're hoping to see something on the commercial side as well," Oden said. "We're still in the process. We're excited to see what comes of a plan."

The BOC will vote on the grant funds as well as a resolution to apply for Community Housing Investment Program funds at its voting session on Oct. 25.