Tuesday, June 3, 2008

ADA Closes on Sale of Vineyards Apartments

The Atlanta Development Authority (ADA) yesterday closed on the sale of the Vineyards Apartments in the Vine City community, west of downtown Atlanta. The new owner, Community Concerns Inc., will reposition four buildings and redevelop them into 32 two- to four-bedroom apartment homes and will partner with the Fulton County Human Services Department to provide services for intact homeless families. “This housing will help address a growing need to reunite homeless families so that the father isn’t in one shelter and the mom and children are in another shelter, “ said Debi Starnes, policy advisor to Mayor Franklin. “The goal is to provide the initial step for these families, to help them rebuild their lives and become stable, self-sufficient residents of the community.”

The property was sold for $755,000, and its new owner plans to spend about $1 million on renovations. The majority of funds for the acquisition and renovation of the property came from the Homeless Opportunity Fund (HOF), which is administered by ADA. The new owner applied for an allocation from this fund and was awarded $1.4 million. Total project costs are $1.8 million. In order to qualify for HOF grants, projects must provide permanent supportive housing for 15 years and identify a service provider and funding for services to help with integration.

The mission of Community Concerns, Inc. - a ministry of the Chapel of Christian Love Missionary Baptist Church – is to provide a comprehensive, holistic approach to serving the needs of homeless people in metro Atlanta. Plans call for the building of a community center, meeting rooms, on-site laundry facilities and a business center with computer and internet access. This property is located within walking distance of MARTA. “Ensuring the families are able to get to and from their jobs is important since they do not have cars initially. Over time, it’s our hope that the families will start to move up the housing continuum, transitioning from supportive housing to assisted housing to market rate rental and ultimately, homeownership,” said Ernestine Garey, director of housing finance at ADA.

ADA acquired the property when it foreclosed on the property’s previous owner in July 2007. Community Concerns Inc. hopes to complete renovations in the first quarter of 2009.

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