Rental - Allen Wilson III
Allen Wilson was occupied in 1941 and Swanton Heights was occupied in 1970. The two complexes together represented 288 units of housing from 1-5 bedrooms.
At almost 70 years, old Allen Wilson still provides sound, affordable housing in a great location; however, despite major upgrades starting in 1970, the units are functionally obsolete. Rooms are small, closets are small, plumbing pipes are not designed for washing machines, and the time and cost to maintain the buildings and units is increasing.
The Housing Authority does not believe the answer is to do away with this irreplaceable resource; however, it must join the 21st century. Therefore, the Housing Authority developed a plan for the phased replacement of the units in Allen Wilson on the current site. In 3 phases, the Authority will move residents on-site with approximately 40 residents having the option to relocate using section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers with the ability to return when Phase 3 is complete. The Authority has worked with others to assist these residents to maximize their opportunity to remain in Decatur. The 3 phases will start over approximately a 6-year period with the first phase being 40 new units. As units are completed, existing residents will move into them, allowing their old units to be demolished to make way for the next phase.
When we are done, at least 288 public housing units will exist. The units will be grouped in 3 story buildings and the elderly will have their own approximately 80 unit, four-story building with the Authority's on-site management and maintenance operations in it. There will be a central green space, on-site parking and the complex will be designed to blend with Decatur's downtown concept. EarthCraft standards for both the buildings and the community are being incorporated into the design and construction.
Unfortunately, there is no "pot of gold at the end of the rainbow" or at HUD. Therefore, the Authority is aggressively combining various sources and types of funding to make this plan a reality. An important part of that is the use of approximately one-third of the site, the north end, for a potential condo development of approximately 150 units, some of which would be life cycle units. The proceeds from the sale of this land will help fund the building of the new public housing units.
The plan is complex, has lots of moving parts, and requires a lot of work in each phase to bring it to fruition. The Authority has received the support of its residents (the seniors are really excited about getting their own building), the City, and a lot of Decatur citizens. We are gratified by the support for this important neighborhood in Decatur and will continue to work to answer any questions that arise. We plan to have Allen Wilson become an even more important and vibrant part of the great City of Decatur!