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Tower Heights public housing is gone. Here’s what comes next
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Crews sort debris Thursday, Dec. 31, 2020, from the demolished Tower Heights Apartments on Tower Heights Road. Construction of the new Walton Harbor could start in January 2021, said Beth Brown, executive director of the Gainesville Housing Authority. - photo by Scott Rogers

The Tower Heights Apartments public housing complex in Gainesville has been torn down to make way for a new income-restricted housing development set to open partially in spring 2022.

Construction is expected to begin this month on the 166-unit Walton Harbor at 320 Tower Heights Road, east of Pearl Nix Parkway.

The complex will replace Tower Heights’ 15 duplexes and community center.

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Crews sort debris Thursday, Dec. 31, 2020, from the demolished Tower Heights Apartments on Tower Heights Road. Construction of the new Walton Harbor could start in January 2021, said Beth Brown, executive director of the Gainesville Housing Authority. - photo by Scott Rogers
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“They were built in 1966 and have been determined to be physically obsolete,” Beth Brown, executive director of the Gainesville Housing Authority, has said.

Also, the units weren’t handicapped-accessible and they didn’t have central heat and air conditioning, she said.

Walton Harbor “will meet modern housing codes and regulations and also provide energy-efficient appliances and low-maintenance materials, according to the Gainesville Housing Authority’s website.
The complex will be built in two phases — the first one offering 81 units by spring 2022. The second phase, Legacy at Walton Harbor, will offer 85 units for those 55 years and older, with construction slated to be completed in spring 2023, according to Walton Communities.

Both phases will serve families living below 80% of the area median income, or the income that falls in the middle of incomes of area households. Hall’s median income as of 2019 was $62,984, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

The authority will begin accepting applications from prospective families this fall, Brown said.

Residents displaced from Tower Heights “were provided new apartments and had assistance throughout the preparation and moving process,” according to the housing authority.

Residents either were to receive a housing voucher or relocation to available public housing units, Brown has said.

Walton Harbor was funded through a federal low-income housing tax credit program and federal Community Development Block Grant money.
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Crews sort debris Thursday, Dec. 31, 2020, from the demolished Tower Heights Apartments on Tower Heights Road. Construction of the new Walton Harbor could start in January 2021, said Beth Brown, executive director of the Gainesville Housing Authority. - photo by Scott Rogers