Atlanta, GA – Conroy Blake, founder of Green Block Development, is on a mission to make home ownership a possible dream for metro Atlanta’s low-income families. After traveling the country and successfully renovating over 30 conventional reconstructions, both residential and commercial. Blake has returned back to Atlanta to develop a community for the low-income families to obtain their dreams of owning a home of their own.
The cost of living in metro Atlanta is growing, and more and more lifelong residents are being forced to relocate further out of the perimeter because of rising housing cost. The real estate website Zillow states the following for Atlanta’s home values, “The median home value in Atlanta is $217,600. Atlanta home values have gone up 7.9% over the past year and Zillow predicts they will rise 4.7% within the next year. The median list price per square foot in Atlanta is $221, which is higher than the Atlanta Metro average of $115. The median price of homes currently listed in Atlanta is $319,875. The median rent price in Atlanta is $1,595, which is higher than the Atlanta Metro median of $1,395.”
As an example… the federal Fair Labor Wage Act is only $7.25 per hour, but for those that are not covered under the federal act, they are being paid the state of Georgia minimum of $5.15 per hour. Making a minimum of $5.15 per hour, and working 40 hours a week averaging a gross of $206 before taxes makes it impossible to live nearly anywhere without government assistance.
But Blake wants to change that scenario and make home ownership an option for those living below the poverty line. Originally from the slums of Jamaica, Blake knows how it feels to live in extreme poverty.
“My mom had very little, and in most cases, she only had what she needed to provide the bare necessities to raise a family of four.” Like many Jamaican residents back then, Blake lived in a home without any walls, electrical and formal plumbing. Whenever they had to use the bathroom, they had to go outside to do so, “our home wasn’t efficient. There were no formal bedrooms, only living space divided by a wall which resembles the photos displayed. We didn’t have the luxury of an in-house kitchen or indoor plumbing. Our kitchen was detached and located directly behind our home. The bathroom was located outdoors and consisted of three shower stalls and two pit toilets that were shared by all who lived in the yard.”
Blake is working to turn his childhood dreams of residing in a better home into someone’s else dreams of being a homeowner. Blake has placed an offer on eight lots in the Atlanta area and will be building homes out of shipping containers than the traditional wood and/or brick. Building homes out of shipping containers are growing more and more popular because it is less cost-effective and also provides a much stronger foundation and frame to withstand natural disasters.
Needing help to build the homes, Blake has established a GoFundMe account to help raise financing. Blake is seeking to raise $250k to buy the necessary supplies and build eight homes on the land he recently purchased. Once the homes are available to sell, they would only be sold through an affordable lease-purchase program and offered by a lottery to low-income applicants.
Blake is using this housing concept as a testing ground to eventually return back home to Jamaican and also to residents of Haiti to provide adequate housing for those living in extreme poverty. Blake will be taking $5,000 out of every home purchase and placed in an account to be saved, and later used to build a home for a family in need in Puerto Pico, Jamaica or Haiti. To learn more about Blake and his Green Block Development fundraising efforts please click on the following link: Green Block Development.