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DeKalb housing initiatives to receive state funding to fight homelessness, housing insecurity

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DeKalb housing initiatives to receive state funding to fight homelessness, housing insecurity

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

Decatur, GA – The Decatur Housing Initiatives Corporation, Tapestry Development Group, and MicroLife Institute were among housing initiatives across the state to receive funding from the state to focus on fighting homelessness and housing insecurity exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp announced on Aug. 30 that he will distribute over $62 million in awards to the housing initiatives, according to a press release.

Decatur Housing Initiatives Corporation is the 501c3 organization of the Decatur Housing Authority, which has been awarded $2 million.

“The funds will be used to address the shortfalls in the construction budget due to increased construction pricing for the Decatur East Phase II project of 80 units for seniors that is being built at the Avondale Marta Station. DHA and Columbia Residential have partnered to develop this property,” DHA Executive Director Doug Faust said.

The Decatur Housing Authority is working with Columbia Residential to build the Columbia Senior Residences at Decatur East 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 are 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, 2021, Decatur City Commission meeting.

Tapestry Development Group, which is based in Decatur, has been awarded $1.5 million and MicroLife Institute in Clarkston will receive $2.5 million.

In total, 20 projects amounting to $62,449,245 will be awarded from the American Rescue Plan and the State Fiscal Recovery Fund for these initial award announcements. Additional awards under this program will be announced in the coming weeks.

The projects getting funding include construction of affordable housing, assistance for individuals experiencing mental health problems while homeless, and improvements to existing properties.

“As Georgians faced the unprecedented challenges and economic downturn of the pandemic, COVID-19 robbed some of their financial stability, expanding the homeless population in vulnerable communities,” Kemp said. “Those who were already homeless faced even greater difficulties, with many already struggling with mental health or substance abuse issues. By investing these funds in those who are already making a difference around our state on these fronts, we will provide those most in need with resources that will aid them on the road to personal and financial recovery.”

Here is a list of the other groups that received funding:

– 3Keys, Inc.: $4,930,601

– Advocates for Bartow’s Children, Inc.: $2,695,000

– Athens Area Habitat for Humanity, Inc.: $4,326,703

– Atlanta Land Trust: $808,427

– Ebenezer Building Foundation: $5 million

– Focused Community Strategies: $2.5 million

– Georgia Works, Inc.: $5 million

– Habitat For Humanity Troup County, Inc.: $1,861,400

– Housing Economic Reinvestment Opportunities, Inc.: $3.85 million

– Houston Co. Habitat for Humanity: $200,000

– Mercy Housing Southeast: $5 million

– Paladin, Inc.: $5 million (Cherokee County)

– Paladin, Inc.: $1,987,114 (Manchester City)

– Quest Community Development Organization, Inc.: $5 million

– Resource Housing Group, Inc. and Staff: $2.29 million

– SUMMECH Community Development, Inc.: $1 million

– West Georgia STAR: $5 million

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