At the same time, as the Urban Homesteading Program was starting, the Housing Authority and the City knew that the existing homeowners in South Decatur needed help in maintaining and upgrading their homes. If this help was not forthcoming, many homeowners would be either forced out of their homes or their home's value and the stability of the neighborhood would be threatened.
Using some innovative efforts to raise funds for low-interest loans the Housing Authority was able to assist 148 homeowners with $1,834,996 in grants and low-interest loans to rehabilitate their homes. The Authority utilized both a HUD loan program and Housing Authority grant and loan funds. These loan funds were raised using HUD funds the City received as a result of the longstanding urban renewal programs that had gone on in Decatur, and which the Housing Authority then leveraged into a loan pool.
In an area of 1,759 homes, 15% were affected by either the Housing Rehabilitation Loan and Grant Program or the Urban Homestead Program. This investment of $3,417,367 in funds to rehabilitate these 261 houses provided a tremendous commitment to stopping the decline of the Oakhurst area and helping it to become an area that people felt good about living in and attracting new families and investment into the area.
This is a perfect example of government (City, Housing Authority, and HUD) and local savings and loans (Decatur Federal) working together, proactively, to preserve a community and its housing resources.