By Ryan Michaels
The Birmingham Times
Homes within Birmingham’s Druid Hills neighborhood have been renovated through a collaboration between Protective Life Corporation and other local organizations, with more homes in the rest of the Northside community to also be eligible for fixing-up this year.
The initiative, which is part of Protective’s larger “Protecting Good” campaign, was put together after the company conducted “listening efforts” with residents of the Northside community, which surrounds the new Protective Stadium.
The program will continue through year-end 2022 and target renovation work on 100 homes.
“Because we knew Protective Stadium would have an impact on the local community, Protective wanted to understand the perspectives of the local neighborhoods. Because we are committed to being a good neighbor and supporting the neighborhoods in the Northside Community, we listened and learned about their points of pride, needs, concerns, goals and opportunities,” said Eva Robertson, VP, Community Relations & Executive Director of the Protective Life Foundation at Protective Life Corporation.
Neighborhood leaders and many residents shared the need for help with repairs to improve the condition of their homes, according to Protective.
Three houses have been renovated as a pilot phase of this initiative, which is a collaboration among Protective, the Alabama Department of Insurance (ADI) Strengthen Alabama Homes program, the City of Birmingham, the Community Development Block Grant program and Habitat for Humanity.
ADI is also providing community residents with the opportunity to receive a maximum of $10,000 for a roof replacement which meets the organization’s own Fortified standard. These new roofs are more weather-resistant and bring homeowners up to the specifications required to be eligible for homeowners’ insurance.
“A desire many residents shared was to help neighbors with home repairs, improving livability and making them eligible for homeowners’ insurance,” Robertson said. “We launched Protecting Good and are . . . We are proud to partner with community members investing in their homes and neighborhood and to play a role in what could have a transformational impact.”
Wanda Watts, a resident of the Northside community who had her roof replaced through the project, said she is “very appreciative.”
“At the time our roof was leaking, I wasn’t sure how I would get another one. It is so amazing what Protecting Good is doing for the neighborhood. All the residents needed was to know someone cared about the neighborhood,” Watts said.
While the pilot run of the program is over, 2022 program will begin soon. Applications can be submitted now to be included in the 2022 Protecting Good program. The program is limited to the neighborhoods in the Northside community, which are Druid Hills, Fountain Heights, Norwood and Evergreen.
Protecting Good, the larger corporate citizenship campaign under which this latest project falls, will encompass a variety of programs which will include “advocacy, community programming and community investment,” according to Protective.
In October, as part of the campaign, Protective collaborated with Northside-based Fly V apparel to commission a hat design, which was exclusively sold at University of Alabama (UAB) football games, which are played at Protective Stadium. Proceeds from the hat sales, funneled through the Penny Foundation, will go to Northside in the form of grants.
This story was updated on 1/20/2022 at 3:20 for editing.
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