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Walton Oaks won't be likely home for relocated Cherry Tree Crossing residents

Monday, Oct. 22, 2012 6:19 PM
Last updated Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2012 2:02 AM
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Augusta’s first mixed-income housing complex won’t be a likely home for residents relocated from a public housing project scheduled for demolition.

The Walton Oaks Apartment complex opened its second phase in July. The grounds has a community center along with gated entrances and playgrounds.  SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
The Walton Oaks Apartment complex opened its second phase in July. The grounds has a community center along with gated entrances and playgrounds.

Richard Arfman, the director of planning and development for the Augusta Housing Authority, said Walton Oaks off Sand Bar Ferry Road won’t have enough public housing units available for Cherry Tree Crossing tenants.

The housing authority announced Thursday that it plans to demolish Cherry Tree to make room for the city’s second mixed-income development, which will be similar to Walton Oaks.

Demolishing Cherry Tree requires formal approval from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Develop­ment. Across the nation, traditional barracks-style housing projects are being replaced with modern apartments where tenants in public housing live side-by-side with those paying market rates or near market rates.

Since its opening in mid-July, the 75-unit Walton Oaks has reached a 78 percent leasing rate, said Melissa Whirledge, the director of marketing for Walton Com­mu­nities, the Atlanta-based private developer and manager of the complex.

Fourteen units reserved for public housing tenants are fully leased, Whirledge said. Of the remaining 61 units, which use tax credits to offer below-market rent, 74 percent are leased.

The complex wants to reach full occupancy by the end of the year, Whirledge said.

Nearly 400 families at Cher­ry Tree probably won’t meet income levels for tax-credit apartments at Walton Oaks, Arfman said. But if they pass required background and financial checks, that will be one option for relocation.

“We work really closely with these people to make sure they have a place that works for them,” Arfman said.

At most, five to 10 Cherry Tree families will be housed at Walton Oaks, Arfman said. Subsequent phases are planned to add about 100 more units at Walton Oaks, and some of those will be public housing. Section 8 vouchers are not accepted in the current Walton Oaks units, and it’s not been determined whether they will be accepted in later phases, he said.

Arfman said Augusta’s public housing developments typically have 500 vacancies a year because of turnover rates. He expects Cherry Tree residents to be relocated to other public housing projects or senior housing if they choose to stay in the public housing program.

Residents will learn more about options for relocating at a meeting at 4 p.m. Tuesday at Cherry Tree Crossing, Arf­man said.

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Riverman1
87485
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Riverman1 10/23/12 - 04:36 am
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Deke's Comments

I thought Deke wanted the Walton Oaks residents to be "advocates for the Cherry Hill folks?" It looks like they're off to a bad start with that concept.

Just My Opinion
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Just My Opinion 10/23/12 - 05:08 am
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"He expects Cherry Tree

"He expects Cherry Tree residents to be relocated to other public housing projects or senior housing if they choose to stay in the public housing program."
You're kidding, right? "...if they choose to stay in the public housing program."?? That implies that some of these folks will choose NOT to stay in free housing. Yeah....let's see how that works out.

OpenCurtain
10049
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OpenCurtain 10/23/12 - 09:36 am
3
1
As the options narrow

it is looking like South Augusta will be the new nesting grounds.

However, I would like to point out all the empty homes in the Walton Way hill area that would make great Sec. 8 locations.
An area with the proper infrastructure to make Sec 8 work.

QUESTION
Would the Housing Authority to publish a map of general Section 8 locations, not street or address, just at a community level?

Let the taxpayers see how the political plan of equal opportunity is working.

dichotomy
34715
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dichotomy 10/23/12 - 02:55 pm
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Why?

" Section 8 vouchers are not accepted in the current Walton Oaks units"

Why? Because you know it destroys neighborhoods and physically destroys the housing?

"At most, five to 10 Cherry Tree families will be housed at Walton Oaks"
"Nearly 400 families at Cher­ry Tree"

South Augusta, prepare for 395 more Section 8 neighbor families.

“We work really closely with these people to make sure they have a place that works for them,”

Works for them.....no consideration of what they are doing to the neighborhoods. The un-represented and unsuspecting public has no input or choice. They have nobody looking out for their interests. The important thing is that the housing authority gets them away from downtown and doesn't put them in the mayor's new showplace public housing.

countyman
20717
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countyman 10/23/12 - 03:05 pm
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None of the housing projects

None of the housing projects are located in South Augusta.

Riverman1
87485
Points
Riverman1 10/23/12 - 05:46 pm
3
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Dichotomy, that is an honest

Dichotomy, that is an honest way to look at the matter. Places such as Walton Oaks limit the number of unpaying residents, yet, there is no limit on putting them in neighborhoods. So is Walton Oaks admitting the unpaying residents strain the neighborhood and denying more than 5-10 units to Cherry Tree residents? Who takes up for the neighborhood in the suburbs?

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