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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Angel Poventud, community advocate and Beltline booster, closer to building dream home

Angel Poventud has worked since last October to secure funding for and start renovating the 1,400 square-foot historic bungalow
  • Joeff Davis/CL File
  • Angel Poventud has worked since last October to secure funding for renovations to the 1,400 square-foot historic bungalow
In June, former CL staff writer Gwynedd Stuart profiled the community advocate Angel Poventud's efforts to renovate a dilapidated home he purchased in southwest Atlanta's Adair Park neighborhood.

Poventud, who can often be seen rollerblading around town while wearing a green dress or leading hundreds of people on walks along the Atlanta Beltline, bought the two-bedroom, one-bathroom historic bungalow that fronts the neighborhood's eponymous greenspace and backs up to the Beltline last year for $14,000.

His plan: start a home in a historic community along a public-works project that's become a large part of his life.

But he soon ran into red tape, overeager code enforcement officials, and the difficulty of obtaining a construction loan in a neighborhood which lenders consider too risky.

Well, things have changed.

After six months of talking with banks and possible contractors, Poventud has secured a loan and found someone to oversee the home's renovation. The Atlanta Urban Design Commission even OK'ed the windows he proposed using rather than more expensive models, saving him thousands of dollars. Yesterday he filed his plans with the city to obtain permits. And last night Poventud finished months of training to become a freight train engineer.

He's not finished, however. Poventud's loan and federal assistance only cover $110,000 of what contractors have estimated is a $130,000 project. He's asking the community to help him fill the $20,000 budget gap before Dec. 8. So far, 106 people have donated more than $5,600. Folks interested in seeing the community advocate's future home firsthand can do so on Saturday when Poventud and other Atlantans will hike the Beltline from Inman Park to West End, a route that includes a stretch in Adair Park.

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