Alberene homes getting big makeover from $855,000 grant

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ALBERENE, Va. (NEWSPLEX) -- Nancy Wray's sinking kitchen floor tells one of the many stories about the place she has called home for more than three decades, which is now slowly crumbling beneath her feet.

"[The rug] has to hold this down, or it slides all over the place," said Wray. "The linoleum is worn."

Wray's home was built in 1903, and tells one of the first stories of what the town once was; a thriving "company town," nearby the local soapstone quarry in southern Albemarle County.

"I love this old house, I truly, truly do," said Wray. "I've been living here 32 years almost, and you want to keep it up because it's just a nice old place."

Several homes in the community, including Wray's, are about to get a face-lift, thanks to an $855,000 grant from the state, and the hard work by the Albemarle Housing Improvement Plan.

The money will go toward fixing 30 homes in the Alberene.

"They saw what needed to be done to my house when they came out to put in the heat I think, saw the conditions, and saw some things that they could help me with," said Wray.

The help from AHIP came as a surprise to Wray at first, but AHIP says it is not as rare as you think, and it is a county-wide issue.

"Right now, we have 200 homes on our emergency repair waiting list, and another 100 waiting for critical rehab services," said Jennifer Jacobs, with AHIP.

She says with every fix they make, they are also helping homeowners out financially.

"One of our focuses is to make sure we're reducing their operating costs and carbon footprint by reducing their energy use," said Jacobs.

Wray says she is extremely thankful for all the help she is receiving from AHIP.

"I don't know what I would have done," said Wray. "I'm just really thankful this is happening, because I don't see any other way this getting done."

AHIP plans to get started on Wray's home this fall. For more information about the grant, click the link beside this story.

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