With her Bible for company, Hortense Dedeaux watched as workers literally tore her house apart. Dedeaux has lived in her North Lang Street home for nearly 50 years. She says renovating it is a much bigger job than anyone expected.
"They didn't know they had to tear up some of the walls and some of the things, so when they went into it, it's a lot of work and a lot of termites eating the wood," she said.
The work that needs to be done reads like a laundry list.
"We're refurbishing the floors, tearing out, replacing floors and the plumbing and the electrical work, getting it up to par, updating it," construction worker Freddy Ludgood said.
This is the kind of work city tax dollars can't legally pay for. Mayor Robert Bass likes to call the federal grant free money that the city doesn't have to match, but goes a long way to pay for much needed projects.
"That's been one of the efforts we've made since we've been in office, is trying to improve infrastructure, whether it's extended sewer services out to the neighborhoods and do some other things with grant funding," Mayor Bass said.
He says in some cases, the homes are in such bad shape that it's cheaper to start from the ground up than to make repairs. Dedeaux is grateful for whatever she gets.