Lauren Henderson and her two children are among the lucky few already chosen for one of 13 available public housing units at Walton Summit, a mixed-income housing project set on the redeveloped block of the former Atlanta Street complex.
“This is a dream come true,” Henderson said.
Property manager Katie McMahon said she and her staff “have been extremely busy with the lease up.”
“As we anticipated, there has been an incredible amount of interest and we have received nearly 300 applications since we opened our leasing activity on Jan. 11,” she told The Times in an email last week.
The Gainesville Housing Authority has partnered with Walton Communities LLC, which has developed similar housing projects in other Georgia cities, to build the mixed-income property over three phases with millions of dollars in state tax credits.
The Housing Authority remains the owner of the land, and all interests will revert to it after 15 years.
More than 200 units will replace the Green Hunter Homes, a 131-unit public housing development built on Atlanta Street in the 1950s.
Residences developed in the second phase of Walton Summit will be exclusively for residents 55 and older.
“We anticipate opening the leasing process for this phase late this year,” McMahon said. “We will have 13 apartments through the HUD subsidy for this phase, as well.”
Though there are not any one-bedroom units left available in the first phase, McMahon said the waiting list is not exhausted for two- and three-bedroom options, “and we are still working with applicants for the 13 (public housing) apartments.”
A single mother, Henderson has lived with family for most of the last year. Her 2-year-old daughter Honest is autistic and at risk for developing cerebral palsy and epilepsy. The past few weeks have been full of sleep studies, MRIs and genetics testing.
Henderson, describing the days as “stressful,” has a smart, talented, soon-to-be 12-year-old daughter, Grace, to help care for Honest.
And come mid-April, she also will have a new, safe place to call home.
For Henderson, the calendar cannot change soon enough.
“I’m in the first building,” she said. “That one’s almost done.”