Low-income Anniston residents offered financial help for home improvement projects

Low-income Anniston residents offered financial help for home improvement projects
Low-income Anniston residents are getting financial help making home improvements. (Source: WBRC)

Anniston, AL (WBRC) - Annie Ball is an elderly lady who lives in West Anniston. When she had to lean against the wooden railing of her back porch, because she had knee surgery shortly before the railing collapsed, she fell off the porch and landed on a doghouse.

“And I walked out there, and grabbed it, down I went!” she recalls for WBRC. Ball needs to get the railing replaced, and needs to get her kitchen floor fixed where a hole exists under her refrigerator. Now she has hope: a new program to help people like her with home repairs was unveiled in Anniston Tuesday.

It’s called “Project PRIDE,” for “Promoting Residential Improvement Developing Economically.” It’s a joint project involving Anniston’s city government, non-profits and faith-based charities, and even local banks and local home improvement suppliers like Lowe’s, Home Depot and 84 Lumber. “They took us on a tour last February of homes that were so bad, people shouldn’t really be living in those conditions,' said Jack Draper, the Mayor of Anniston.

He calls the program “Evidence of what can happen when a community comes together, to address a need.” Anngenett English, founding director of one of the non-profits, R.E.S.U.R.R.E.C.T., calls Project PRIDE a “call to arms” to “rebuild our city, rebuild our community.”

English took WBRC on a tour of several homes in dilapidated shape, all with someone living in them. Many had ceilings near collapse, and floors so soft it felt like walking on wet sand. Some of the homes needed new roofs. Many had been helped in the past by other projects, but still needed work.

One of the homes belonged to an Army veteran. ”I was surprised and elated to see that every bank we talked to was ready to jump on board," said Ben Little, Ward 3 Council Member.

Representatives of many of those banks will be present Thursday night from 5 to 7 p.m. to make presentations to the public about low-interest loans made through the Community Re-Investment Act. People interested in getting financial help with those home improvement projects are urged to attend.

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