United Way of Greenbrier Valley has partnered with Homes for White Sulphur Springs and Main Street White Sulphur Springs to establish The United Way Rental Renewal Program.
This unique partnership of three local organizations that are providing flood recovery assistance throughout the Greenbrier Valley is designed specifically to support individuals and families who were renting their homes when the flood of June 23, 2016, hit.
The United Way Rental Renewal Program will include two initiatives:
1) Construction of new homes at Hope Village for qualified applicants who were impacted by the flood and were established residents of the community. The focus of this initiative will be to turn these individuals and families into homeowners.
2) Acquisition and renovation of existing flood damaged properties to provide affordable rental housing for qualified applicants who were impacted by the flood.
Erin Hurst, executive director of United Way of Greenbrier Valley said, “From the earliest days of recovery, United Way of Greenbrier Valley has been searching for ways to help flood survivors who lived in rentals. FEMA grants and volunteer services have helped greatly in the recovery effort; however, largely focused on homeowners. It is our hope that this program will provide relief for families who have not y
et benefited from the outpouring of support that is underway throughout the Valley.”
Maggie Hutchison, executive director of Homes for White Sulphur Springs noted that “we have received many requests for assistance from renters. We are thrilled that United Way of Greenbrier Valley and Main Street WSS have recognized this unmet need and come forward to support the overall recovery of the Greenbrier Valley. The United Way Rental Renewal Program will create an opportunity for deserving families to become a part of this new neighborhood.”
Hope Village was created by Homes for White Sulphur Springs in response to the need for a “new neighborhood” for families who could not or did not want to return to their home in the flood-ravaged areas of White Sulphur Springs. Today there are 24 homes completed or under way with more families in the approval process.
United Way of Greenbrier Valley has set aside a $250,000 grant in support of the initiative. These funds will be matched by funds from Homes for White Sulphur Springs in hopes of assisting as many families as possible.
The rental properties that are developed through The Rental Renewal Program will be managed by Main Street White Sulphur Springs. Main Street President Pat Harper noted that “this is a wonderful way for Main Street to participate in the long-term recovery of our community. The repair of existing homes and construction of new homes are critical to the economic development of White Sulphur Springs, which is the primary mission of Main Street.”
Tom Crabtree, a volunteer architect and White Sulphur Springs resident who mobilized the Hope Village Project with a group of local businesses and supporters, commented: “We are humbled by the incredible volunteer effort on behalf of our little town of White Sulphur Springs. This is yet another example of West Virginians helping West Virginians.”
A ceremony for signing of the Memorandum of Understanding by the three organizations will be held at Hope Village on Monday, Mar. 6, at 10 a.m. Hope Village is located at 1266 Big Draft Road, White Sulphur Springs. Regional and local leaders as well as the general public are encouraged to attend to show their support for the cause. The signing will be followed by a brief tour of the new one-bedroom villas that were completed this week.