Home construction completed on blighted property

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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Savannah Mayor Eddie Deloach says affordable housing is Savannah’s biggest problem. On Wednesday, the Edgemere-Sackville neighborhood is one step closer to tackling it.

One year ago, a blighted property on East 55th Street was unlivable and vacant. City leaders compared it to a slum.

Bulldozers demolished the existing home to make room for a new, energy-efficient one. Coastal Empire Habitat for Humanity stepped in with dozens of volunteers to build it.

Darrell Scott was one of those volunteers. After applying, he is now the new owner.

“It means the world to me,” he said. “It’s a beautiful program. I encourage anyone who hasn’t thought about the program to not have any doubt.”

On Wednesday, a ceremony in front of the house makes it official. Savannah Mayor Eddie DeLoach, District 3 Alderman John Hall and Rev. Harold Tessendorf — the president of the Edgemere-Sackville Neighborhood Association — led the ceremony.

Organizers gave Scott a toolbox and the keys to his new home. Scott says he has been living on East 55th Street since August.

Scott is a Savannah native and first-time homeowner. He says he is thankful to everyone who helped him and his son put a roof above their heads.

Scott’s mortgage costs a few hundred dollars per month. The money goes back to Habitat for Humanity to build more homes in the area.

There are already plans to build another home down the street.

Leaders identified Edgeville-Sackville as a Savannah Shines neighborhood.

City leaders said they are working to improve the quality of life for residents, whether by targeting property owners who violate codes or working with neighbors to help them find affordable housing assistance.

Savannah Shines has already built a playground, improved sidewalks and the initiative has plans to provide more affordable housing options — like it did for Scott.

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