Huntsville Community Development, volunteers renovate two homes owned by seniors

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – On Monday, volunteers helped the Town of Huntsville’s Community Development Department renovate two homes owned by local seniors.

Volunteers renovated the exterior of homes, added handicap ramps and helped clean up the yard.

The Deferred Maintenance Rehabilitation Program is a service provided by the City of Huntsville Community Development for seniors or disabled members of the community whose homes may have exterior problems.

The city runs the program, but it is powered by volunteers. These volunteers donate their time and resources through the city’s Block Grant Homeowner Assistance Program.

“We were able to recruit probably at least 15 to 20 volunteers today to come out and help donate time,” said Scott Erwin, director of community development.

Erwin says the two homes being worked on Monday morning dated from the 1940s and 1950s and belonged to two very deserving members of the town.

“We had some great candidates here who are truly super citizens and individuals, so we’re happy to be able to use the volunteer resources to help them today,” Erwin continued.

James Edward Jamar was one of two lucky people to have received upgrades to his home.

Jamar was visited by Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle and said he must have done something right to get these renovations.

“I built this house,” Jamar told News 19. “I helped build it in 1955 and lived here, moved somewhere else and came back a couple of times.”

Both Erwin and Battle say it’s a win for the city, not to mention a way to show appreciation and give back to longtime residents.

“Our job right now is ‘let’s stabilize this house, let’s make it a little bit better,’ but let’s also make it great for years to come,” Battle said. “This will be an asset to the town of Huntsville for years and years to come.

Battle says it’s not just about giving homeowners something nice to look at when they come home, but about making sure they’re safe and the house is livable.

Norma P. Rex