The Housing Authority of Columbus has gotten the green light to move forward with a plan to replace Chase Homes.
It came Tuesday when the Georgia Department of Community Affairs approved low-income tax credits for the project. Those tax credits will make the nearly $20 million redevelopment possible.
Chase Homes is located along the Chattahoochee River, just north of the TSYS downtown campus.
A year ago, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development approved the demolition of Chase Homes. Now that the tax credits — almost $14 million in private investment money — have been secured, the Housing Authority of Columbus can start the process of relocating the residents.
“The residents get the option,” said Len Williams/CEO Housing Authority of Columbus. “We will either provide them vouchers that can relocate anywhere they choose to go. Or they can go to one of our other properties, And then they will get a preference to come back to the new Chase Homes when it’s finished.”
There are 108 units at Chase Homes, and 99 are occupied. The relocation process will start early next year. It could take until June to get residents into other suitable housing.
Once that happens, the project will take about two years, Williams told News 3.
Right now, he says the priority is getting the residents relocated.
HUD must sign off on the demolition. And because there has been preliminary approval, that process should be done before the end of the year.
When a redevelopment project like this happens, about 10 to 15 percent of the residents usually return to live in the new complex.
This is similar to what happened at old Housing Authority properties such as Peabody, BTW and Baker Village. Peabody became Ashley Station in the early 2000s. BTW became Columbus Commons three years ago, Baker Village became Arbor Pointe.
The Housing Authority has been in this game since 2001 and it has led to replacing old public housing with more modern units.
Like Peabody, Baker Village, BTW and Chapman Homes, the old Chase will become a thing of the past.
The tax credits will allow the Housing Authority to partner with a developer to redevelop the property.
Since Peabody fell in 2001, there has been nearly $200 million in the redevelopment of Columbus public housing sites.
“We have developed, I think, a pretty good team,” Williams said. “We sometimes do these deals as just the Housing Authority, but often we partner, particularly when we do a redevelopment. We partner with a development entity. We’re partnering, again, with Columbia Residential. We worked with them at Arbor Pointe, Patriot Pointe, and Columbus Commons. We think we provide an excellent product so we are pleased to continue that relationship.”
Columbia Residential is based in Atlanta.
What will replace the old public housing complex is a combination of low-income and market-rate housing.