During the Georgia Initiative for Community Housing's October 21st, 10th anniversary celebration, the organization recognized outstanding examples of affordable housing projects/innovations by GICH communities. Communities were invited to submit applications for the following categories: adaptive reuse, affordable rental housing, community outreach and engagement, homeownership, neighborhood revitalization, community transformation and housing innovation. A panel of experts then selected an award recipient for each category.
City Planner Brian Herrmann said that the holistic approach to revitalization in the Victoria Place neighborhood is a feather in the City’s cap, garnering widespread attention throughout the state of Georgia.
"The GICH award is another example of how the City of Thomasville and its partners continue to receive recognition for the multi-faceted approach to the restoration of the Victoria Park neighborhood," Herrmann said.
The Planning Department was selected as the Homeownership award winner. The Victoria Park development was also recognized for achievements in (1) the construction of new affordable housing; (2) renovation or redevelopment of housing for home ownership; (3) homeowner counseling programs; (4) mortgage finance opportunities; and (5) other innovative programs or partnerships that promote affordable homeownership and reflect the goals of the GICH team.
Thomasville participated from 2005-2007 as one of the inaugural GICH communities. The housing team included representatives from City and County government, local schools, the Housing Authority, and non-profit and business partners, including Duane Treadon, Kha McDonald, David Lewis, Rosemary Boykins, Greg Hobbs and Ken Manwaring.
“The City of Thomasville has a longstanding commitment to improving the housing conditions and quality of life for our citizens," Herrmann said.
To date, the Victoria Park Revitalization Project has provided the community with a new park at the corner of Victoria Place and Lester Street, the addition of curb and gutter to the existing streets in the area, improved storm water run-off drainage, decorative lighting, wide sidewalks and decorative, stamped concrete crosswalks. The project has also seen the construction of three new homes and the renovation of another six existing homes. These completed activities represent over $550,000 in improvements over the past couple of years. When completed, public and private investments in the Victoria Place Redevelopment area are expected to reach approximately $5 million.