Paint voucher program offering in 5th Avenue area
Published: Wednesday, September 25, 2013 at 4:13 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, September 25, 2013 at 4:13 p.m.
Terri Bailey and her family were the first homeowners living in the 5th Avenue/Pleasant Street neighborhood to get the exterior of their home painted for free as part of a program sponsored by the city of Gainesville Community Redevelopment Agency.
* What: The free Fifth Avenue Pleasant Street Residential Paint Voucher Program for homeowners and renters living in the 5th Avenue/Pleasant Street neighborhood.
* When: While funds are available.
* Where: Pick up an application at 820 NW 5th Ave., Suite 200, or apply online at www.gainesvillecra.com.
* Information: Call 352-334-2205.
Known as the Fifth Avenue Pleasant Street Residential Paint Voucher Program, the program was created by the CRA to help reduce blight in the area and to improve the aesthetics of the community, which is bound on the east by N. Main Street, the west by NW 13th Street, the north by NW 8th Avenue and the south by NW 3rd Avenue.
"We are very excited about the project, and we are very excited the CRA is doing this for the residents of the community," said Bailey, while taking a brief break Saturday from painting with volunteers at her three-bedroom/two and a half bathroom home, located in a cul-de-sac off NW 7th Avenue behind the Gainesville Police Department headquarters. "This really makes a big difference to us because we don't have $5,000 to get the house painted. So this is a big blessing and a big, big help."
Malcolm Kiner, CRA project manager, said residents can get an application for the program on the CRA website at www.gainesvillecra.com or by visiting the CRA office at 802 NW 5th Ave., Suite 200, in front of Duncan Brothers Funeral Home.
Kiner said in order to be considered for a paint voucher, which are worth up to $500 for paint and painting supplies, the home must not have any major code enforcement violations, and if renting, the applicant must have the permission of the homeowner. He said once an application has been approved, the homeowner must provide verification that the home has been pressure washed before a voucher will be issued.
Kiner said the program, which originally had a $5,000 budget, will last until all available funds run out. Kiner also said funds will be awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis to residents who meet all of the program guidelines. Kiner said the application process has been open for a while and will close soon before opening again at a later date.
Kiner said the program received a boost when Pastor Gerard Duncan of Prayers by Faith Family Ministries, located on NW 5th Avenue, talked to him about the role his church could play as a volunteer partner with the CRA. Kiner said once he told Duncan about the paint voucher program, he immediately informed residents about the project. Kiner said applications have been steadily coming in ever since Duncan let residents know about the program.
On Saturday, Duncan and some of his church members were on hand to help paint Bailey's home white, with a pink trim. He said volunteering with the CRA is very worthwhile because he and his congregation can literally see the impact they can have on somebody's life.
"This paint job will run anywhere from $3,000 to $5,000, so we know we are having an impact on this family," Duncan said.