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Grayson County leaders to help with affordable housing

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FRIES (WSLS 10) - Grayson County leaders are working to revamp about 20 homes in the Eagle Bottom area.

They said it's one of the poorest areas in the county.

In 1988, the region's biggest employer, Washington and Mills, a textile cotton company, shut down causing many people to lose their jobs and the area to fall on hard times.

The county was recently awarded a $700,000 grant from the state, which will be used to begin the first phase of providing affordable housing.

Tammy Lawson has lived in Eagle Bottom for about 12 years and said there are many homes like the one she owns that need to be fixed.

"The conditions of the home were very deteriorating, there was asbestos, black mold," explained Lawson.

For others who live in the same neighborhood, the run-down housing can be a safety hazard, especially for children.

"The bedroom in here where we stayed, you put your hand on the wall and it was so hot, it just felt unsafe," said Charity Rutherford, who lives in one of the homes.

The people in Eagle Bottom are hopeful that the help from the county will make a difference in their community.

"I can't really express in a thousand words how thankful I am," continued Lawson.

"It's a project dedicated on affordable housing," said county administrator Jonathan Sweet

County leaders say they've been working to get money to begin the first phase of the project for more than two years.

"It will be truly transformative for the residents of Eagle Bottom and of course there will be a residual benefit across the community," continued Sweet.

Rehabilitation is expected to start in the spring.