PINE LAWN, MO (KTVI)-- Beyond Housing, an agency determined to turn around communities in desperate need of revitalization is building 41 single family houses in the Normandy School District, which recently lost accreditation. The plan is part of the 24:1 Initiative, 24 communities with one vision.
Chris Krehmeyer says the goal is simple. "It's really about how do we make entire communities better places to live recognizing if we're going to do that we have to focus on housing, on education, on health, on jobs on economic development. This is one piece of a big puzzle of how do you make a place better," said Krehmeyer.
The houses are being built in a four block radius near Barack Obama Elementary School, which opened two years ago on Jennings Station Road. Charles Grady moved his family from Florissant into a three bedroom two bath house on Beechwood. "I love my home. It's comfortable. I've got my little dungeon in the basement. Every man needs a dungeon," Grady laughed.
Beyond Housing purchased several abandoned houses in the neighborhood, secured financing then started renovating an entire community. The agency also secured a grant to help homeowners make repairs to their property. Seventy-seven-year-old Delorise Shelton has lived in Pine Lawn forty-six years. She would like to participate in the program. "I have some problems, some electrical problems nothing really major, but I'd like them corrected," said Shelton.
Beyond Housing officials realize Pine Lawn is going to turn around overnight, but they appear to be building on a strong solid foundation.