Home Restoration Project

Home Restoration Project
By: CJ Cassidy

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. -- A project that's proved successful in Cape Girardeau continues to attract quite a bit of attention from home owners.  It involves a facelift for certain neighborhoods on the Southside.  Target areas include homes on South Pacific, South Hanover, Good Hope and Bloomfield.

City leaders say helping people buy property in these areas instead of having renters constantly move in and out could bring some stability.
Take for example the Sanchez couple.

Henry and Lisa never imagined the first home they bought would need so much work.  Still, after hundreds of hours knocking down walls and putting in tile floors, the couple call it a labor of love.  It's nowhere close to being finished, but Henry says a little help from the city went a long way.

"The city helped us a lot with the windows, the siding, the insulation and electric, and saved us a lot of money," he says.
City leaders came up with the restoration project to clean up selected neighborhoods.
"Since we started this project, we've had a number of vacant houses and problems in the area drug problems, crime problems things of that nature," Housing Assistance Coordinator Stephen Williams says.
So far money from grants has been spent fixing up eighteen houses, and twelve of them have brought in new homeowners, like Henry and Lisa Sanchez .
"It was $30,000 when we got it and I'm not sure how much it's running now, but some of the houses around have gone up a lot up to about $70,000 and $80,000 in value," Henry says.
They, too, want to help make other changes in their new neighborhood.
"I see already a big difference. Our neighbors have a fence and a big family - pets in their yards keeping up with their house," Henry points out.

"If you're going to put extra time into it, you're going to take care of it," Lisa adds.  That's exactly the attitude city leaders say they hoped to see.

The city also plans on re-vitalizing the Jefferson Bloomfield area of town.

Call City Hall if you live in a target area and want information on assistance to fix up your home.  The number is (573) 334-1212.