June 8, 2009
Unprecedented Number of HUD Grants Awarded to Walton
Augusta, GA-It's an honor to receive one HUD grant in a year.
So when Walton Rehabilitation Health System was awarded three grants this past year, it was truly unprecedented, so much so that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development office in Atlanta even commented that they couldn't remember ever having three grants approved for one sponsor in the same funding year.
"HUD grades each application it receives, and applications with the highest grades are normally funded," said Beth Miller, Executive Director of Community Services at Walton Rehabilitation Health System. "Walton scored particularly well due to our experience in providing affordable housing and our experience in working with seniors and the disabled."
Since 1992, Walton has built and managed 10 independent living projects in Augusta, Thomson and North Augusta that provide specially designed housing for people with physical disabilities and seniors through grants awarded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The grants fund the property, architectural plans, building construction as well as rental assistance. "After a person experiences a stroke or brain injury, certain home modifications are typically needed in order to ensure they can live safely at home," said Miller. "Walton's independent living projects enable families with lower incomes who are unable to make these home modifications to have a safe, comfortable home that meets their needs.
"In addition, our independent living projects are in keeping with our strategic plan, which is to provide physical rehabilitation, accessible housing, and sports and leisure activities supporting people with injuries or disabilities."
Unfortunately, the need for projects like Walton's seems to grow faster than they can be built. Walton currently has more than 150 people on their waiting list for a unit; the three new projects will provide a home for just over 30 on the list. "We are continually looking for new sites that will enable us to apply for additional HUD grants and help supply this need," said Miller. "It is vitally important that our community is aware of this issue."
The three new projects are Walton South, 511 West Richmond Hill Rd., South Augusta; Walton West Villas, 1068 Bertram Rd., Augusta; and a yet-to-be-named project located at Planer Mill Road, Harlem. Walton will break ground on Walton West Villas this September, with the remaining two sites set to start in 2010.
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