Mayor calls program ‘one of the special things the city does’
CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – A Clarksville woman has a tidy new house on Chestnut Street to call home, thanks to the City of Clarksville and the federal Community Development Block Grant/HOME program.
Mayor Kim McMillan handed the keys to the new home to Jeannette Hapiuk on Wednesday afternoon.
“This is one of the special things the City can do to really help people have better lives,” Mayor McMillan told Hapiuk. “I’m so pleased to be able to welcome you to this safe and comfortable new home today.”
Adams Construction built the bright new two-bedroom bungalow at 47 Chestnut Street under contract with the City of Clarksville Department of Community and Economic Development. The house, with an attractive wood front porch and brown siding, is the freshest dwelling in a neighborhood of similarly sized homes just north of Peachers Mill Road.
“This is the first time I’ve ever had a house that was really mine,” Hapiuk said as a hint of tears welled up in her clear blue eyes. “They poured the foundation in December, on my 70th birthday. I think that was the happiest birthday I ever had.”
The city’s housing rehabilitation program enables eligible homeowners within the Clarksville City limits to maintain and improve the quality of their housing and create a positive effect in the surrounding neighborhood.
Hapiuk’s former house at the site, which she had lived in since 2006, had a number of severe problems. Slate singles on the exterior walls were missing, and storm damage had caused the living room ceiling to collapse. City inspectors determined that it was not cost-effective to rehab her old house, so Hapiuk was eligible to receive a new home under the CDBG/HOME program.
“The purpose of the federal programs are to develop viable neighborhoods by providing decent housing and a suitable living environment, principally for persons of low and moderate income,” Keith Lampkin, Clarksville Director of Community and Economic Development, said.
Lampkin said the City also was able to transfer a pair of lots in the neigborhood to Habitat for Humanity, which will build new homes in the future, and several private home rehab projects are underway on Chestnut Street.
“I’m glad when we’re able to use our grants to build this kind of momentum in a neighborhood, and multiply the good we can do,” Lampkin said.