Swanton Heights redevelopment project officially underwayA concept drawing showing the building design for the project. Photo provided by the Decatur Housing Authority.
The Decatur Housing Authority (DHA) has officially begun work on the Swanton Heights redevelopment project, according to DHA Executive Director Doug Faust.
DHA has decided to rehabilitate the units at Swanton Heights, an affordable housing community in Decatur built in 1970. It has only been remodeled once before, in 1990. It is located on Electric Avenue.
The real estate closing was finalized on Monday, according to Faust, and the group’s property management department has relocated some of the families living in Swanton Heights to other places in Decatur. Other families will be relocated in three phases over about 22 months with each phase of relocation lasting about seven months.
On Wednesday, the project contractor, Lubin Enterprises, began the process of unit assessment and will be putting up the construction fencing shortly.
DHA will be using a financing strategy of tax-exempt bonds and 4-percent low-income housing tax credits, Faust said. Additionally, the rehabilitation of the units will cost around $12 million for changes made to the units, site and community building.
The interiors of the units will be rebuilt with all new kitchens, bathrooms, floor coverings and HVAC, and exteriors will receive updates, too.
A small laundry facility and gathering area will be added along with community gardens. There will also be increases made to the square footage of four very small efficiency units and the community building, creating more classrooms for DHA’s STARS afterschool program.
According to Faust, the City Schools of Decatur (CSD) is working with DHA on transportation to keep students affected by the remodeling project in CSD Schools. The DHA is also undertaking the required Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) revisions to make more portions of the site accessible.
“We are excited to pursue a rehabilitation that will serve the Swanton Heights families in a positive manner for the next 20 years or more,” Faust said.