Decatur Housing Authority opens new Oakview Walk apartment complex
Early Wednesday morning, the Decatur Housing Authority (DHA) officially opened Oakview Walk, a redevelopment of the former Oakview Apartments in the city’s Oakhurst neighborhood.
At the grand opening celebration, DHA Executive Director Doug Faust emphasized the amount of time and work that had gone into remodeling the apartment complex.
“This project represents over five years of work, five years from when we first started planning,” Faust said. “It takes pages and pages of people and pages and pages of work to get to where we are.”
The apartment complex, located at 1111 Oakview Road, was originally built nearly 60 years ago, Faust said. Although the complex’s location near schools, jobs and other parts of Decatur kept residents there, Faust said the property did not meet appropriate living standards, especially for the elderly and disabled.
Then, the DHA began a revitalization project for the former Gateway Manor complex and the Oakview Apartments, to be conducted in three phases. The completion of Oakview Walk is the third phase of the project.
During construction, the former residents of Oakview Apartments, many of whom were elderly or disabled, were able to move directly into the newly-built Trinity Walk Apartments, while Oakview Walk was re-designed and built primarily for families and working adults.
Now, the Oakview complex consists of 34 family apartments with 27 one-bedroom units and seven two-bedroom apartments. Additionally, the complex includes a multipurpose community room, a covered exterior gathering area, onsite laundry, a play area, a fenced community garden, gathering area with kitchen, computer lab, wellness center and an onsite management office.
Twenty-seven of the new apartments are tax credit units designed for families earning 30-60 percent of Area Median Income (AMI). The remaining seven apartments are designated as workforce housing for families earning 80 percent to 120 percent of AMI with rents below market rate, according to the DHA.
At the grand opening, Decatur Mayor Patti Garrett said she was excited about the new complex and discussed the city’s plans to tackle affordable housing in the future.
“I remember when (Oakview Walk) was just an idea, and Doug Faust came to the Oakhurst Neighborhood Association with information and sketches of what was to come,” she said. “And, wow, what an asset Oakview Walk is to the neighborhood! We look forward to working together to […] find ways to open the doors to those who are underserved by Decatur’s real estate market.”
Garrett also discussed the City Commission’s recently-established Affordable Housing Task Force, which Faust will serve on, as a sign of the city’s efforts toward improving affordable housing options.
Above all, Faust wants to ensure that affordable housing isn’t something people are ashamed of. He wants these properties to be a point of pride for its residents.
“We believe in creating transformational communities that go far beyond bricks and mortar,” Faust said. “I don’t want people to drive by and say, ‘That’s affordable housing.’ I want them to drive by and say, ‘That’s a nice place to live.'”