Decatur’s Oliver House named Development of Excellence

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt November 4, 2013
Oliver House in Decatur, Ga. (Photo provided by Decatur Housing Authority.)

Oliver House in Decatur, Ga. (Photo provided by Decatur Housing Authority.)

The Atlanta Regional Commission on Nov. 1 named Oliver House at Allen Wilson a Development of Excellence.

Oliver House opened in Decatur, Ga. in September 2012 as part of the Decatur Housing Authority’s redevelopment of the Allen Wilson public housing project. The 80-unit, four story building provides low-cost housing to seniors and was designed with energy efficiency in mind.

DHA Executive Director Douglas Faust said the Housing Authority is “very proud” of the recognition. 

“Our team has been committed to creating a great, active home for seniors at the Oliver House with a substantial commitment to the environment,” Faust said. “Oliver House’s numerous energy-efficient features, attractive design and focus on safety and comfort for the senior residents set a high standard for future development of affordable housing for seniors.”

Oliver House is Phase II of the Allen Wilson revival project. Allen Wilson opened in 1941 and “the units were totally inadequate to meet today’s needs, with small bedrooms, few closets, low ceilings, and outdated kitchens,” the DHA said in its application for the Development of Excellence award. “The utility services were inadequate to handle today’s needs and both the sanitary and storm sewer systems were overtaxed.”

According to the Housing Authority, “Oliver House is certified under the Earthcraft Multifamily program and features solar power generation, geothermal heating and air, rainwater harvesting for irrigation and toilets, high-efficiency fixtures and appliances and paints and carpets with low amounts of volatile organic compounds.”

The development has several amenities, including a covered patio area, gardens and units equipped for residents with disabilities.

Jameelah Bashir, 78, resident of Oliver house in Decatur, Ga.

Jameelah Bashir, 78, resident of Oliver House in Decatur, Ga.

Jameelah Bashir, 78, said she was among the building’s first residents. She said her new home is “wonderful.” Bashir said residents can attend dance classes, go bowling and play bingo. Anytime something is broken, it gets fixed immediately, she said. She said the kids in the nearby family units can be a little rowdy, but that was her only criticism.

“I love it out here,” Bashir said. “I hope things continue to go the way they’re going.”

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