New Two-Building Complex in Alabama Offers Affordable Housing to Seniors

By Erika Schnitzer, Associate EditorLanett, Ala.–An affordable housing complex with 48 units, Garden Greene Apartments recently held its official opening. Developed by Bennett and Co., a real estate consulting firm, the apartments are targeted toward seniors earning 50 percent or less than the area median income.Move-ins at Garden Greene began this March, and the building is currently at 50 percent occupancy.The new project has already begun to improve the deteriorating neighborhood where it is located. “Other home-owners in the neighborhood have been inspired to repaint and groom their yards, Fred Bennett, president of Bennett and Company, tells MHN.“The city has received a state grant to assist others with home repair in this neighborhood, and the ‘neighborhood watch’—in this neighborhood, always active—is now becoming even more vital.” Located at 501 South 8th St., the $6 million development is the site of the former Greene Elementary School, which had been vandalized and closed for years. Senior centers, hospitals, retail, transportation and other community centers are situated in the vicinity. Garden Greene Apartments, comprising two two-story buildings, features 20 one-bedroom and 28 two-bedroom units, with up to 1,060 sq. ft. of living space in each. Every apartment includes electric ranges, washer and dryer hook ups, microwaves, carpeting, and emergency pull cords in bedrooms and bathrooms that connect to flashing lights and horns.Community amenities include a clubhouse, full kitchen, TV/reading room, laundry room and computer center. There is also a community garden, gazebo, picnic area with grills and exterior lighting and video camera activated by motion sensors.The Alabama Council on Human Relations Inc. (ACHR), Bennett and Co., Enterprise Community Investment Inc. and the city of Lanett partnered on the project.The project was funded in part by Enterprise, which provided $4.2 million in low-income housing tax credit equity investment and $1.3 million HOME funds from the Alabama Finance Housing Authority. Auburn Bank provided funds for construction and permanent finance.