How federal grants are impacting the lives of Huntsville residents

single-meta-cal April 7, 2021

A Huntsville native and retired orthopedic nurse, Betty Logan has spent most of her life giving back to the community.

Thanks to funding from the City of Huntsville, Logan can now sit back and let others return the favor.

City leaders talk about Community Development Local Home Rehab project

Community Development leaders Scott Erwin and Rob Peavy talk with District 1 Council Member Devyn Keith and homeowner Betty Logan on Bluehaven Drive in Huntsville.

The City recently named Logan, 69, a recipient of its Deferred Maintenance Rehabilitation Program. Supported by Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the program is making a big difference in the lives of Huntsville residents, especially those who struggle to make ends meet.

“I feel blessed – that’s all I can say,” Logan said. “I’m so happy. I needed the help and they came at just the right time.”

National Community Development Week

Each year in April, the City celebrates National Community Development Week, a five-day event designed to promote, educate and advocate on behalf of the CDBG program.

In recognition of Community Development Week, Community Development works on a local home rehabilitation project supported with CDBG funds, of which the City receives about $1.4 million annually. For this year’s project, the City selected Logan’s home on Bluehaven Drive in northwest Huntsville.

Community Development, with the help of 50 volunteers, is working throughout the week to ensure Logan’s home is secure from the elements. That includes adding vinyl siding to the exterior, installing new shutters and making her home more handicapped-accessible.

“Community Development Block Grants are critical in helping our low- to moderate-income residents secure decent housing and enjoy better economic opportunities,” said Scott Erwin, manager of Community Development for the City. “We can’t think of anyone more deserving than Ms. Logan of these funds.”

Changing lives in Huntsville

Since 1974, the City has received CDBG funds annually from HUD. With these federal funds, our Community Development Department has completed many projects, including new parks, housing, improvements to handicap accessibility and home repairs for senior citizens and the disabled.

Logan, who has lived in the home for 34 years, said health issues have made it difficult for her to make needed repairs. Back in 2019, Community Development replaced her roof, and, before that, removed a hazardous tree from her yard.

“This has helped me a whole lot because they were things I wanted to get done, but couldn’t do myself,” Logan said. “It’s turned out so much better than I expected.”

CDBG funds make something as simple as installing a handicapped ramp for a senior citizen possible. They also allow the City to winterize low-income housing to save energy and reduce costs.

With CDBG funds, the City can pursue affordable housing to revitalize neighborhoods or provide after-school programs and mentors to keep children safe and engaged while their parents work.

“Our hope is that by celebrating National Community Development Week in Huntsville, we can demonstrate just how important these grants are to our community and the need for increased program funding,” Mayor Tommy Battle said.

Get more information

For details about the City’s Deferred Maintenance Rehabilitation Program or CDBG funding, please call 256-427-5400.

You can also learn more about Community Development on our website.