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May 19, 2007 | 12:00 a.m. CDT
Laura Spradling talks with friends while her children, Abram and Charlie, play in the front yard of their home on North Garth Avenue, two blocks north of Broadway. The Spradlings bought their home through the Down Payment Assistance Program, run by Columbia’s Department of Planning and Development. The Spradlings moved into their home four years ago and say they are fairly happy with it. “I just wish it was quieter,” Spradling said. “I want a kid-oriented neighborhood.”

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