Housing grant helps build first home of ten in Bedford

Published: Mar. 29, 2023 at 5:55 PM EDT
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BEDFORD, Va. (WDBJ) - Bedford’s Redevelopment and Housing Authority has reconstructed one woman’s home. This is one of ten homes to be rebuilt or repaired in the Hilltop area.

There’s no place like home. But when your house is deteriorating, it’s heartbreaking.

“My home was falling apart, literally falling apart,” said Cathalia Wright.

For the past 28 years, Wright has lived on Crenshaw St. But her kitchen was unusable and she cooked on two hot plates.

“People used to ask how do you wash (and) do your dishes? Well, I wash them in my tub,” explained Wright. “And they said what! I say no, no, not like you think. I bought two big buckets.”

Now thanks to the town she has a new set of keys.

“Never thought I’d have anything like this in my life. Never,” added Wright. “I loved my old house, but this is just absolutely beautiful. I love it.”

This is one of ten homes Bedford’s Redevelopment and Housing Authority plans to rebuild or repair in the area, thanks to a grant by the Virginia Community Development Block Grant Program. To qualify you must be the owner of the home and meet income requirements.

“And so that’s determined by the median gross income for the particular area; you have to be pretty much low to moderate. Which in cases, that’s working class,” said Community Development Planner Jefrado Granger.

This is the first of three phases. Granger says the next phase will include houses on King St, Federal St, and Liberty St. The Director of Planning and Community Development, Mary Zirkle, says this is an effort to revitalize the town.

“It allows people to stay in their homes. And that’s exactly what we want, as they age in place or improve the housing stock in general. So, things we want to add are porches to make sure people are still connected in the community,” explained Zirkle.

Wright says she’ll be connecting with her grandbabies in her new usable kitchen.

“I love to cook. I love to cook. I cook every day now,” said Wright.

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