Seminole Co. grant replaces houses for needy residents

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SANFORD, Fla. - Seminole County is giving four homeowners a dream come true.

Federal grant money will pay to demolish their run-down homes and build new ones.

Homeowner Willie Mae Lowery was emotional about getting a new house.

"I just can't believe it's happening," Lowery said.

Lowery has lived in her Sanford home since the 1960s with her husband.

Their humble abode is falling apart, and their fixed incomes can't fix it.

"It's kind of expensive. We just kind of endure it," Lowery said.

The windows won't open, and if they do, they won't close. Water spots and mold cover the ceilings and walls.

When they walk across their creaking floors, they're concerned they'll fall through – again.

"I fell through this," Lowery said.

The floor under the bathroom rug has problems.

Thanks to Seminole County and a federal grant, their home and three others in Sanford will be torn down and replaced with new three-bedroom, two-bath houses.

Willie Mae will finally get working power outlets, sturdy doors, floors and handicapped access for her husband.

"This (gets) to be a problem because my husband is a little weak," Lowery said.

The demolitions should start this October.

The grant will pay to house the families and their belongings while their new houses are being built.