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25 New Homes to Help Revive Birmingham’s Fountain Heights Community

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Birmingham Land Bank, area leaders and residents on Friday broke ground on the first of 25 new homes Fountain Heights. (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

The Birmingham Times

Bonderia Lyons, President, Fountain Heights Neighborhood Association, knows what new housing can mean for a community. That’s why she was excited when Birmingham Land Bank on Friday broke ground on the first of 25 new homes in her neighborhood. at 1138 12th Ct N, the future location of one of the homes.

“This is an opportunity to reimagine Fountain Heights and rebuild it into the historic community that it once was,” Lyons said. “This is an opportunity to get sidewalks repaved; to have new lighting in our community; to have safer neighborhoods and a diverse community.”

The Land Bank acquires vacant and abandoned properties and hopes to turn it over to responsible owners. The city routinely goes through legal procedures to mow grass on overgrown, vacant and abandoned lots that are not maintained.

“We want to go vertical on these lots with more single-family homes, affordable, market-rate, insert whatever term you want,” said Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin. “The residents who live here deserve better. For community, we want it to be better. The best thing we can do is build more housing.”

Bonderia Lyons and Darlena Battle are President and Vice President, respectively, of the Fountain Heights Neighborhood Association. (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

He added that Friday’s groundbreaking was “a welcome respite for residents of Fountain Heights, who have for too long dealt with uncaring landlords that allow their properties to fall into decay.”

Last year, the Birmingham Land Bank Authority launched its Accelerated Home Ownership Program (AHOP) pilot program in Fountain Heights. “Everyone deserves a home; from the student temporarily renting an apartment, the young family who decides to buy a home and the unsheltered,” said Caroline Douglas, Executive Director, Birmingham Land Bank.

The new home being built at the corner of 12th Street North and 12th Court North could be the start of a housing renaissance for Fountain Heights, which has many vacant and abandoned lots, the mayor said.

“We want to go vertical on these lots with more single-family homes, affordable, market-rate, insert whatever term you want,” Woodfin said. “The residents who live here deserve better. For community, we want it to be better. The best thing we can do is build more housing.”