607 West 39th Street
We are now in Cuyler Brownville, a historically African American neighborhood dating back to the late 19th century. It is rich in history and culture but has suffered from disinvestment over the past 50 years. It is estimated that over the past 20 years, over 100 structures have been lost in Cuyler Brownville. Nearly 30% of existing homes in the neighborhood, like this one, are vacant. HSF sees these smaller vacant homes as a perfect solution to address the severe lack of affordable housing in Savannah. This little house (built in the late 19th century and later remodeled as a Craftsman bungalow in the 1920s) was actually donated to HSF in 2020. In February of this year, HSF broke ground on construction, the first full rehab project HSF has taken on ourselves in almost 20 years. After its completion, HSF will sell the house at an affordable price, in partnership with the City’s Dream Maker down-payment assistance program. We will also place affordability covenants on the house. HSF and its board want to avoid inadvertently perpetuating gentrification by making nearly all such projects in the neighborhood – affordable. HSF not only wants to protect historic buildings, but even more so, the existing make-up and character of the neighborhood’s long-term residents.