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Columbia Residential, Decatur Housing Authority awarded funding for 80-unit senior housing project

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Columbia Residential, Decatur Housing Authority awarded funding for 80-unit senior housing project

Artist's rendering of the planned Phase II of Columbia Senior Residences at Decatur East. Credit: City of Decatur.

Decatur, GA — The Decatur Housing Authority, in partnership with Columbia Residential, were recently awarded a 9% low-income housing tax credit allocation from the Georgia Department of Community Affairs to provide funding for the development of phase II of Columbia Senior Residences at Decatur East, according to a press release.

The development will be located at the corner of Freeman and Sams Streets near the Avondale MARTA station.

Columbia residential completed Phase I in 2018, which was a 92-unit mixed-income senior community. The developers are now working on Phase II of that project, and all units will be for seniors aged 62 and older.

“This is planned to be an 80-unit senior community, with 70 of those units restricted as affordable, and that’s at 50% or 60% of the area median income. In addition, there’s 24 project-based vouchers that will help support lower income residents to reside here,” said Christina Davis, development manager with Columbia Residential, at the Nov. 15 Decatur City Commission meeting.

In May, the City Commission provided Columbia Residential with about $438,000 in grant funds to the tax allocation district to cover the infrastructure costs supporting the affordable housing development. The city’s funding was conditional and based upon the developer producing the project and receiving the low-income housing tax credits. The total project cost is estimated to be over $21 million.

The development is the first project to receive support from the city’s East Decatur tax allocation district, a financing mechanism for infrastructure and other public improvements using revenues from the enhanced property tax values from the new development.

“The City of Decatur is pleased to support Columbia Residential and the Decatur Housing Authority’s new senior development at Decatur East,” Mayor Patti Garrett said. “It is fitting that this will be the first project to receive funding from the City’s East Decatur Tax Allocation District because the project aligns well with the community’s goals for more affordable and sustainable housing.”

DHA Executive Director Doug Faust said the funding award is a tremendous achievement and asset for the city and its senior residents.

“Decatur East Phase II is an excellent example of how affordable housing should be designed to meet the unique needs of seniors in a vibrant, healthy community that supports growth and economic development,” Faust said.

Additional gap financing for both phases of Decatur East senior housing was provided by DeKalb County Department of Community Development HOME funds, including a $1.6 million secondary mortgage for Phase II.

“We are grateful to DeKalb County and the City of Decatur for providing this secondary funding for Phase II of Columbia Senior Residences at Decatur East,” said Jim Grauley, president of Columbia Residential. “The next phase of this project will enable us to deliver additional green-certified senior housing units within a highly coveted, transit-oriented community that is steps away from public transportation and within easy access of a variety of retail, restaurants and medical facilities,” he continued. “With the help of our partners, Columbia Residential is proud to increase affordable housing in the Atlanta area.”

Construction is anticipated to begin in 2022 and will be completed in 2023.

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