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Atlanta Street rezoning hearing nears as redevelopment awaits
Planning and appeals board meeting is April 12
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Gainesville Planning and Appeals Board meeting

What: Hearing on rezoning for Atlanta Street public housing redevelopment

When: 5:30 p.m. April 12

Where: Municipal courtroom of the Public Safety Complex, 701 Queen City Parkway, Gainesville

Formal plans to redevelop the Atlanta Street public housing complex in Gainesville will come before the city planning and appeals board April 12.

“The Gainesville Housing Authority along with Walton Communities have spent a considerable amount of time with Gainesville Community Development Department staff in regards to the design and aesthetics of the proposed multi-family community,” Gainesville Planning Manager Matt Tate said. “The mixture of public, low- to moderate-income, market-rate and senior housing within the proposed redevelopment site appears to be a good blend of housing opportunities for Gainesville.”

Though the property needs to be rezoned before the homes are demolished and new construction begins, the project is already underway.

Residents began receiving vouchers this month that will allow them to get subsidized housing elsewhere, and all are likely to be relocated before the year ends.

The Gainesville Housing Authority has partnered with Walton Communities LLC, which has developed similar housing projects in other Georgia cities, to bring $10 million in cash to the redevelopment through a tax credit program.

Beth Brown, executive director of the Housing Authority, said the Green Hunter Homes, a 131-unit public housing complex built in the 1950s, need to be demolished because it would cost more to renovate than redevelop.

Construction of 252 new public, affordable and market-rate units over three phases could begin by 2017 with move-in dates in 2018.

The redevelopment comes at a time when the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development is looking to move out of the public housing business.

The state Department of Community Affairs has begun meeting with residents along Atlanta Street to provide assistance in the relocation process.

And the Gainesville regional office of the Georgia Legal Services Program is working with tenants to ensure they can find affordable housing in the city.

Brown said she and her staff have met with Georgia Power to coordinate transferring electrical connections through a single point of contact and have the Housing Authority billed directly for any setup fees at new locations.

The Housing Authority has also contracted with a moving company to assist tenants free of charge, or else residents can seek cash relocation assistance.

Brown said she has also reached out to local property owners and landlords to inform them of the timeline for relocating residents and gauge where certain tenants might be able to move.

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