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85-year-old Cleola Haywood has a new home.
Her original house had fallen into disrepair and through Hollywood’s Housing Rehabilitation & Replacement Program, it was determined that the best thing to do was to demolish it and build a new one.
The new structure is on her property in the Washington Park neighborhood where she has lived since 1962. Haywood has raised a family and held various jobs during a long life in Hollywood. The new home is energy efficient and accessible for a disabled person.
“I’m grateful to have a new house. I’ve lived here a long time. The old house needed a lot of expensive repairs so it made more sense to tear down the house and build a new one,” said Haywood.
It took about six months to demolish and rebuild the home and the project cost roughly $151,000.
The City of Hollywood rehabilitates around 15 homes a year with a goal to rehabilitate up to 40 homes a year.
There are three homes in the current pipeline that will be demolished and then rebuilt, according to Clay Milan, Community Development Manager for Hollywood.
The Housing Rehabilitation & Replacement Program is supported by federal and state grant funds. When the condition of a home makes rehabilitation unrealistic, replacement of the structure with a new home is an allowable option.
Haywood had lived with her family at the location for more than 30 years. Her income was less than 25 percent of the area’s median income and her mortgage payment exceeded 30 percent of her gross income, the upper level of HUD’s affordable housing threshold. By participating in the Program, she was able to fold her existing mortgage debt into a mortgage for the new home, making her new payments more affordable.
A dedication ceremony for the new home was held and city leaders participated. Leaders from the Washington Park neighborhood were present. After the ceremony, people were given a tour of the new home.
Mayor Josh Levy said he was pleased to see the new home and believes it is a good program for Hollywood.
Nadine McCrea, president of the Washington Park Homeowners Association said, “This is a great day in Hollywood. This is a beautiful new home in our neighborhood,” she said.