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'Warner Robins is going to bless me': City receives $400K grant to repair Houston County homes

The CHIP grant pays for home repairs like a deteriorating roof, new electrical, plumbing or HVAC systems, or to fix foundations or rotting wood.

WARNER ROBINS, Ga. — A $400,000 grant is on the way to improve homes in Warner Robins.

It's part of the federal money awarded each year to Georgia's Community Home Investment Program, CHIP.

The City of Warner Robins applied for the grant at the beginning of the year. Then, at the end of April, they found out they were getting the money for the very first time.

Some might say not too many people stay in one place a long time, but Gigi Head has.   

"I love living here. I don't want to live anywhere else," Head said.

Gigi has been living here since she was a teenager. She says her mother, Bessie Head, worked hard for this house.

"Now that it's mine, I want to keep it up, but like I said, I had limited resources to do so," Head said.

Gigi says she gets disability money every month, but it's not enough to fix up the outside of her home.

"I couldn't afford to replace all that paneling there, so I bought some boards to go around it and put it up and fixed that, but now my air condition unit is out," Head said.

Kate Hogan, the City's Community and Economic Development Director says Warner Robins can now give up to $50,000 to eight low-income homeowners, in the northeastern part of the city.

"Any help would help. The prayers I have been praying... I believe the City of Warner Robins is going to bless me," Head said.

The CHIP grant pays for home repairs like a deteriorating roof, new electrical, plumbing or HVAC systems, or to fix foundations or rotting wood.

"Really, some of those things that make sure that they have quality of life in their current home. Investment in our housing stock is going to be incredibly important as we work on bringing new housing stock into the area, just making sure we have equitable investment throughout our entire community," Hogan said.

Gigi's goal is to make her mother proud, and keep their home in the family.

"Somebody came along and helped her and I hope somebody comes along and helps me," Head said.

The city is still finalizing paperwork, so the application won't be available until this Fall.

It's unclear if Gigi would qualify for the grant, but she does plan to apply and help others apply, too. Baldwin County and the City of Perry also received CHIP funds.