SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - A pilot program through the federal government is allowing local public housing agencies get more bang for their buck when it comes to offering long-term rental assistance contracts.
It's known as Rental Assistance Demonstration, or "RAD," and the Housing Authority of Savannah is already involved with three major projects.
If you've been just east of downtown Savannah, along Broad and Randolph Streets you've seen that new development and renovation happening for months now in both the Wessels and Hitch Village areas.
For seventeen families, their lives inside Savannah's newest affordable housing complex are just beginning.
Formerly Hitch Village, the 72 Unit development now sitting in that spot along Randolph Street is known as The View at Oglethorpe. Just behind it, phase two of that development will bring 100 more units to the site.
The executive director for the Housing Authority of Savannah says these new homes, and the renovations across the street at Wessels Homes will put a dent in the affordable housing waiting list.
"What we found, is to build housing for the same income, low, extremely low income... does not work for families or financially," said Housing Authority of Savannah Executive Director Earline Davis.
Davis explained the new homes are more tailored for the modern, smaller-in-number families.
Davis said, "In the new development we will have market-rate apartments available, tax credit income and those who are formerly public housing income eligible, but it's called RAD."
More affordable housing for Savannah's families is just a piece of the puzzle for leaders looking to close socio-economic gap.
With a poverty rate hovering around 26 percent for years, City leaders are making "Poverty reduction and economic strength" a top priority for the new Strategic Plan.
We're expecting to hear about specific actions the City will take to meet goals like reducing poverty by one percent every four years until that number is at or below the state average at an upcoming council workshop.
Phase one of the Hitch Village redevelopment should be finished this fall, phase two next summer sometime.