Clayton working to stabilize neighborhoods

The Clayton County Neighborhood Stabilization Program is not only helping to stabilize Clayton’s neighborhoods by offering incentives to working families to relocate here, but is also being recognized for efforts in the process.

The NSP targets public safety officers, educators, military personnel (active, veterans and surviving military spouses), and health care workers to buy foreclosed homes. You don’t have to be a first time home buyer to qualify, but Clayton employees would receive the bulk of federal aid at $20,000, and others who qualify could receive up to $5,000.

All a purchaser would need is a stable income, limited debt, decent credit, eligible income by family size, at least $500 towards the purchase, and a desire to be a homeowner who is willing to live in the house for 5-10 years. Given the effect that property rentals have had on Clayton neighborhoods, the owner-occupied requirement is definitely a plus.

According to Manager Micki Williams, “NSP has acquired or has under contract to acquire a total of 114 houses [and] real estate agents have sold or have under contract to sell a total of 32 houses.” Some neighborhoods that have already benefited are: Forest Park, Jonesboro, Lovejoy, Rex, and Riverdale.

HUD has complimented NSP on its marketing techniques, such as the block parties which showcase homes for sale, as a model for similar programs. Additionally, the NSP will be recognized at the Sept. 7 Board of Commissioners meeting for their efforts, and expect to have another sales event in the fall.

There are a lot of great things going on countywide that will bring future growth and economic development to Clayton in different areas.  Do you know anyone who has relocated here through this program? As a resident, what would you brag on to get folks to consider Clayton and relocate here?

Looking for some fun stuff to do in Clayton this Labor Day weekend? Celebrate at The Beach September 4-6, with musical entertainment and fireworks on Sept. 4.

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Rhonda

August 30th, 2010
4:42 pm

I would like to brag that Clayton County, thanks to the ingenuity and forward thinking of Water Authority planners back in the 70’s has one of the most progressive and successful water programs in the world. People have come here from Australia and Japan to see how we reclaim our water. During the severe droughts that we had here in Georgia a few years ago, Clayton County was not in a drought, we had plenty of water.

BnB

August 30th, 2010
6:06 pm

But then again that was the forward thinking leaders in the 70’s. Can anyone think of another decision by the leaders of Clayton county – that had such positive impact on Clayton. Of course, we can think of negative impacts to our county. The BOE disaster of the past 10 years, the county commisioners who sold out the county during the 80’s and 90’s.

WE can hope and pray for involved, intelligent voters who can recognize true leaders and then the county can again move forward and be a good example of a well run county.

lyn

August 30th, 2010
6:24 pm

Why does the water turn my shower orange?

I see fat people

August 30th, 2010
7:49 pm

Our neighborhoods will never be ’stabilized’ until a ceratin ‘element’ leaves. Until this is done (thru either gentrification, regulation or incarceration), Clayton property values will remain in the toliet. Flush…….

bigdogears

August 30th, 2010
8:32 pm

I’m sorry Kimberly but I think I hear crickets chirping. The downturn in housing just continues to hammer the life out of ClayCo homeowners. There is so much trash along the roadside that I just can’t stand it. On the positive side, I went out-of-town last weekend and the city I visited was beautiful and clean.

Big Papi

August 30th, 2010
10:34 pm

What cop wants his family living next door to the gang banging thugs that he locked up last night? Most of the people targeted by this program want better for their families. Maybe a few adventurous single officers but most with families will pass. I can’t see to many teachers or military people either. Most of these types want good schools and safe neighborhoods with decent neighbors. Its very sad, what Clayton has become.

kallen

August 31st, 2010
9:30 am

Homeowners in Clayton keep saying they want decent people who actually own their homes and don’t rent them out to come live here, well NSP is offering a chance at that. Clayton definitely has issues but if we as residents can’t find positives, why would anyone else bother to try? For every “gang banging thug” that lives in Clayton, there are probably 10+ decent citizens who just want to live their lives peacefully.

My original question, which only the first poster actually answered, is, what would you brag on about Clayton county?

I would brag on the people. The perception is that Clayton residents don’t care about where they live, but there are plenty of residents who love this county and want to see it prosper. You won’t see or hear sound bites from them on the nightly news or read their quotes in newspapers, but they are behind the scenes trying to effect change not only in their neighborhoods but in the county overall. Those are the people that keep me encouraged that Clayton can become great again in the future. I was blessed to have met and live next to two of the best neighbors (in owner occupied homes) I’ve ever had in Clayton county along with many other residents.

lunawkt71099

August 31st, 2010
10:27 am

I read this blog frequently. Many times the tone of the posts are so negative. I have lived here for 15 years and I still have faith in the people of Clayton. On Day One I was one of the many parents standing in front of the schools in Clayton County welcoming our kids back to school. It was touching the see the kids excited about a new school year and parents/adults committed to our kids. I think there’s bad things happening everywhere but we, (as faith filled people) must attempt to make things better around us. That probably sounds corny to some, but it is what I live by.

Clayton Parent

August 31st, 2010
11:18 am

I think the program is a step in the right direction. It’s easy for those to complain and point out what’s NOT happening and what WON’T work. HOPE alone is not going to turn this county around. And neither will pointing the finger. At some point, we have got to stop complaining, reminiscing about how Clayton was 20 years ago, and take some action. Quite frankly, I’m tired of hearing about the “yester-years” of Clayton County. Let’s deal with the present and how we move forward. I like the fact that the program has an owner occupancy requirement. A lot of the problems in our county are due to the influx of renters. Taxpaying property owners have more of a vested interest in the county and its prosperity.

As for a positive for Clayton County, we have the state’s first dual language immersion school. Unidos Dual Language Charter School is in its 5th year and is looking to expand to 8th grade (currently K-5). The program has had much success which is indicative of the school’s lengthy waiting list. You won’t hear about this in the news, but some families have moved to Clayton County so that their kids can attend this school.

OK….bracing myself for the bashing…negative comments in 5…4…3…2…

Straight No Chaser

August 31st, 2010
2:49 pm

Great program!!! Unfortunately it wasn’t an idea of our commissioners. This program mimics the HUD “Good Neighbor Next Door Program” that has been around for years and was brought to the attention of our commissioners by a local citizen. Would I want teachers, police officers, firemen & EMT workers living next door to me………..Hell Yeah!!!!

All I will say again people is watch the money. After what has recently happened with the Clayton County Housing Authority and one of our commissioners and some alleged missing money………something is stinky!!

James

August 31st, 2010
3:48 pm

Thanks, Kimberly, for the positive report. I just wish more could be done to improve our neighborhoods. There is a home for sale on my street and I would love to have a public safety officer, teacher, or any hard-working professional living there. I do believe Clayton is improving and will continue to do so.

good idea

August 31st, 2010
4:29 pm

The answer is…A CONCERTED EFFORT. The program is a step in the right direction, I would even give everyone the first 6 months free for a 5 yr commitment. Secondly…there MUST be more resources and oversight in the Code Enforcement department. Fine the HELL outta the landlords that allow certain tenants to live in homes and not maintain them.

another idea

August 31st, 2010
4:31 pm

I would also push for a TOTAL PITBULL BAN !!!! I don’t care what some dog owners want to say…..get a new pet or get out. If you do that watch how many low lifes will rent in another county.

People with children don’t want to live next door to that “element”.

to answer

August 31st, 2010
4:34 pm

fayette county and forsyth county…..those counties don’t have ANY of the issues that CC does. Please show mw any report of a drive by in recent history in any of these counties or any major mismanagement by their government

Clayton Parent

August 31st, 2010
4:34 pm

@ another idea, great idea!

19&41

August 31st, 2010
6:31 pm

It would be nice to see public safety employment in this county be contingent upon residence in this county. The breaks described above could be enhanced to this end. That would mean residence in this county, not ownership of a home rented to others, with the owner residing elsewhere.

say what?

September 1st, 2010
7:33 am

Thank you for looking for the positive. The program appears to be a neighborhood stabilizer, but there are more vacant houses than employees. It is a start in the right direction. No need to rehash the negatives and the problems, as there will be many more time to do just that. Clayton may not be Utopia, but even Utopia would have its unsatisfied dwellers.

Water department is the BEST, and lets go and grow from that.

Hell to the nah!

September 1st, 2010
7:55 am

Wanna brag? what about the up coming Rex Village, they are doing great things there and a future draw for the county with a lotta historical value. anybody who moved there or already lives there just needs to hold on tight and support them.

whatever

September 1st, 2010
9:23 am

This is a small step in the right diredtion. The number of foreclosed home in Clayton County is staggering. in my sip code alone there are over 900 of them multiply that by the rest of the County and we+ Have a problem. House prices have dropped dramatically And something does need to be done to reverse the trend of people buying the cheap houses and renting them out to section 8’s.Most renters do not have the commitment to a neighborhood or community due to the transient nature of the lease.. If we can get tax paying home owners in a lot of these vacant homes it will go a long way to start to turn around the County. When you get a couple of house proud neighbors move into a run down neighborhood sometimes the rest will start doing little things to make their homes look a little better. And slowly things start to get better. The reverse can also happen too but it all depends on the makeup of the community. What ultimately happens to Clayton County will depend upon our water and if the Commissioners give it away to Fulton County or uses it as a bargaining chip to bring in long term home owners that will give a big boost to our tax revenues in the form of property taxes and a commitment to the Area.

DixieDarling

September 1st, 2010
9:57 am

I love my nice quiet neighborhood. A house on my street has just been purchased and remodeled by the fire department. I notice more kids at the bus stop. My kid’s school made AYP. I see improvements.

Clayton resident

September 1st, 2010
1:31 pm

Olde Towne morrow has potential to be a nice gathering spot for everyone in the county. Looks like it’s gonna take awhile to fill that space but when they do it’ll be nice. We went there on July 4 weekend to listen to music and just hang out for awhile. Miss the seafood restaurant though. But welcome to the new residents!

Lalapalooza

September 1st, 2010
2:34 pm

I read this blog sometimes and its good to see some positive comments about Clayton for a change usually there’s a lot of snarkiness. I agree that the people are great here and many want to see the county turn things around. I’ve lived here for 3 yrs and wasn’t here when the county was “great” moved here around the time accreditation was lost and most residents were very depressed and down on living here. I feel the attitude has changed recently and things are not “great” but like the country we’re on the road to recovery. I hope what I’m feeling is right!

PS I am a renter who cares about the property I live on even though I don’t own it.

Bit o’ Jack

September 1st, 2010
7:00 pm

I have been living in Clayton for 13 years. This county is moving in the right direction, it’s 2010, we no longer ride horse and carriages up I-75. Time is moving forward swiftly, we need progressive thinking leadership in place because overcrowding is being felt everywhere in the metro area. Currently, another “BIG STEP FORWARD” would be to use some of the “Race to the Top Money” to bus 5-10 years to school!

Roach

September 1st, 2010
7:45 pm

Northern Clayton County is convenient to the airport. That aside, I can’t imagine bragging about anything in Clayton County. I just can’t.

Roach

September 2nd, 2010
9:01 am

I take it back. Animal Control does a really good job for us. We brag on Animal Control all the time.

Huh?

September 2nd, 2010
9:14 am

Wow I can think of three things off the top of my head Clayton residence can and should be proud of

How about Clayton State University? It’s a thriving educational institution which our school board and commissioners have no control over so they can’t screw it up.

How about Spivey Hall? While it’s not many residents type of music, people come from outside of Clayton to attend concerts there and again it is doing well.

How about the Archives in Lake City? If I remember right that archives center serves the entire state of georgia.

We have building blocks we just need people who are productive this program could help bring more of those types of people here. That’s a good thing and a big step in the right direction.

MorrowDude

September 3rd, 2010
10:26 am

I will again share a list of GOOD things in CLayton County:

Clayton State University
Spivey Hall
Southern Regional Medical Center and access to top physicians and medical care
State Farmers Market
Museum of Aviation
Hartsfield-Jackson Airport
Clayton County Library System
Clayton County Water Authority
Olde Town Morrow and redevelopment of Southlake Mall area
National Archives
Georgia Archives
An ACCREDITED school system
Easy access to Atlanta’s cultural and sport venues
Arts Clayton
Clayton County International Park and Atlanta Beach
Melvin L. Newman Wetlands Center and Lake Shamrock
Reynolds Nature Preserve

I’m sure there must be more. Some people weren’t aware of the good things here. I say we must build on the positive in 2010. Certainly there are problems and bad things in every community, but we do have some things others would covet.

Roach

September 4th, 2010
2:48 pm

You must have been thirsty, to drink so much Kool-Aid. If we settle for what we have and assert that our flawed institutions are fabulous, we will never get anywhere. The first step in solving a problem is to recognize that you have one.

phhbt

September 5th, 2010
12:02 am

Well thanks very much Roach for that piece of radiant positivity, it really added to the theme of appreciating what you DO have. Appreciating what you have and wanting to make it better aren’t mutually exclusive.

Tell the Truth

September 5th, 2010
10:21 am

I’m glad to see so many positive post on this topic. This let’s me know that the idea of community is still alive in our county. Kudos to those that are implementing forward thinking ideas to make the county better.

Clayton Parent

September 7th, 2010
9:06 am

James Brown

September 15th, 2010
2:13 pm

I applaud the Clayton County Neighborhood Stabilization Program. Yes, I am a candidate for state legislature, but on this subject I speak non-partisan. Frankly, I feel we should be non-partisan on every issue when it comes to improving the quality of life in our Clayton communities. It is time that we put politics aside and do what we know in our heart is right for our future and our children’s future. We must become proactive in (and for) our neighborhoods and the county if we’re ever to turn it around.
James Brown
Candidate for Georgia House District 77