Five more homes to re­hab

Con­tract awarded to county’s NSP to re­hab re­main­ing fore­clo­sures

The Covington News - - FRONT PAGE - SAMANTHA REAR­DON news@cov­

The Board of Com­mis­sion­ers awarded a con­tract to New­ton County’s hous­ing project at a meet­ing Tues­day.

Di­rec­tor of New­ton County’s De­vel­op­ment Ser­vices Scott Sirotkin be­gan en­gag­ing with a new con­trac­tor to com­plete “work write ups” for the re­main­ing five homes in need of re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion.

The In­sti­tute for Build­ing Tech­nol­ogy (IBTS) is a con­trac­tor based out of Vir­ginia with an in­spec­tor branch lo­cated in Ma­con, Ge­or­gia.

“IBTS was selected as the only re­spon­sive bid­der and be­cause they are very well qual­i­fied for the work,” Sirotkin said. “As I men­tioned to the board, they were awarded a sim­i­lar con­tract from the North­east Ge­or­gia Re­gional Com­mis­sion, and they have sig­nif­i­cant ex­pe­ri­ence in de­vel­op­ing the work write ups we need.”

Sirotkin said ac­cord­ing to the com­pany’s sub­mit­tal, they have per­formed over 1,500 such write ups for sim­i­lar federal hous­ing pro­grams.

The work write ups will de­tail ev­ery­thing that needs to be done be­fore each home is sell­able. These will give an es­ti­mated cost of each home’s re­hab needs, so de­vel­op­ment ser­vices can eval­u­ate those num­bers and bid each home one at a time.

Sirotkin said at the meet­ing Tues­day they will bid each property one at a time to speed up the process of sell­ing each.

He an­tic­i­pates they will have IBTS within two or three weeks from when they give the no­tice to pro­ceed.

“Our re­main­ing obli­ga­tions un­der the grant are to sell these homes to qual­i­fied house­holds,” Sirotkin said of the re­main­ing phase of the hous­ing project.

De­vel­op­ment Ser­vices then works with Habi­tat for Hu­man­ity to find po­ten­tial buy­ers for the homes.

“Once the five homes are sold, we will most likely move to the close­out por­tion of the pro­gram.”

There is no time­line for the project, but Sirotkin said HUD and DCA (Depart­ment of Com­mu­nity Af­fairs) are still pro­vid­ing de­tails on how close­out will work.

“As I un­der­stand it, it will be a process to en­sure all our obli­ga­tions are met and to ex­e­cute the pa­per­work to bring the grant to a close. There is no dead­line for close­out at this time.”

In 2009 New­ton County’s NSP project was orig­i­nally awarded $ 1,742,760. These funds were used to build Fairview Com­mu­nity Park and to pur­chase, re­ha­bil­i­tate and sell fore­closed homes.

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