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Building a new home is a daunting and costly endeavor for anyone, but for those living on low or moderate incomes, it’s a dream that is almost never realized.
But, through Mount Rogers, Mountain Shelter, the City of Galax and USDA Rural Development, that dream came true for more than a dozen first-time homeowners. Thanks to a generous gift of 14 acres from the city, the partners were able to find homes for those living on fixed incomes, handicapped citizens and those living in costly rental properties or dilapidated trailers.
After more than a decade, the lots in Galax’s Knob Hill subdivision are full. It took time and hard work to get new homes for these folks, but it was a worthwhile effort.
Now that all the spaces are filled, the city or a neighboring locality should step up and donate another piece of land to keep this project going. There must be dozens of other families, couples and individuals who would take advantage of the program and its low interest rates.
By working with the Knob Hill partners, homeowners were often able to get mortgages lower than what they paid for apartments.
It instilled a sense of pride and built credit and equity for them, and the neighbors were able to create a well-kept and friendly community on a piece of land that was sitting unused in Galax.
Don’t let this experiment in community-building end with Knob Hill. Local governments should look at the land they hold and see if there’s a property that would be suited to a similar project.