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Developer gets tax credits to start work on affordable housing project in Oakwood
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A proposed affordable housing apartment complex in Oakwood got a huge boost last week when the project was selected by the state to receive federal housing tax credits.

“We’re very excited, and the market is fantastic for what we’re proposing,” said Gary Hammond, principal of Landbridge Development LLC, an Atlanta firm pushing the project.

The $12 million Peaks of Oakwood is planned on 9 acres off Atlanta Highway/Ga. 13 and Osborn Road, across from Blackshear Place Baptist Church.

The complex would have 84 units, 13 of which would be income-restricted.

The goal is to open the Peaks of Oakwood to renters on July 1, 2019, Hammond said.

The complex will feature a clubhouse, community room for resident gatherings and functions, laundry area and a playground and gazebo.

“The heavy lifting is the design phase,” Hammond said, speaking to what’s next.

One thing’s for certain: Landbridge won’t be able to dawdle on the project’s development.

The Georgia Department of Community Affairs, which administers the tax credits program, will “hold us to a timeline to make sure that we’re progressing accordingly,” Hammond said.

“There’s a number of requirements in the award we have to meet in that timeline. If, for whatever reason, we’re faltering, (the state) would have the opportunity to reallocate (the tax credits).”

Hammond has said that tax credits “are the major financing source for the project, and I don’t believe we could move forward without (them).”

Unlike federal Section 8 housing, no rents will be government-subsidized, he said.

In the Oakwood project, “rents … are artificially lower so that the units are built for people making a certain income based on household size,” Hammond said.

Peaks of Oakwood, he said, would be “a very high-quality product that we’re capable of building for a reasonable rent.”

“People can agree or disagree on this type of housing, but there’s no denying there’s a lot of demand for it,” Hammond said.

Oakwood City Manager Stan Brown said, “From what we saw during the (project) review process, (Landbridge) has a nice concept. It looks like it’ll be a quality product and meets a housing need for the community.”

Peaks of Oakwood is one of 30 rental housing properties selected throughout the state this year to receive $23.2 million in tax credits. Projects vary from new construction to rehabilitation.

The state “is proud to help local communities develop affordable housing solutions that fit the character and needs of their communities,” DCA Commissioner Christopher Nunn said in a press release.