COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – The Columbus City Council has approved funding for a new affordable housing development, coming to south Columbus.

229 units of affordable housing are coming to Leslie Drive in South Columbus. The developer, non-profit, NeighborWorks Columbus, hopes to chip away at the ongoing Affordable Housing Crisis.

“We are in an affordable housing crisis, this will be a drop in the bucket but we’ve got to start somewhere.”

Cathy Williams – President, CEO of NeighborWorks Columbus

The project was made possible with South Columbus River Tax Allocation District funds. It will bring 43 single-family homes, apartments for residents 55+ and apartment flats for families. After approval from the legal council, the vote passed, 8-2.

“Which is a vote for the community, and in my book it’s a vote for South Columbus. Everybody talks about we need to do something down there, we’re going to do something, 229 units will be there.”

Dr. Jimmy Elder – Pastor, First Baptist Church

The land was donated to First Baptist Church. After their years of work with Victory Mission they’ve been able to teach, feed, and preach to the residents of South Columbus but then they go home.

“Every night when they leave, they go back to those houses where they’ve been living, which are substandard. And the fact of affordable housing is going to give them a place to live that’s going to be clean. It’s going to be safe. It’s going to be sort of a dream come true for them.”

Dr. Jimmy Elder – Pastor, First Baptist Church

Some even say it’s part of the solution to the city’s drastic increase in crime.

“Any time you have stability within a community or a neighborhood, you’re going to have less crime. You know, as long when you expect people to live in substandard slum property or pay more than they can afford where something else has to give, then generally you’re going to see dysfunction.”

Cathy Williams – President, CEO NeighborWorks Columbus

The project is expected to take three years. After the funds were approved by City Council, Williams said they would be hitting the ground running the following morning.