The Village at Oakhurst, a Magnolia Award Recipient, was developed by the Housing Authority and its affiliated non-profit. As the developer, the non-profit oversaw the design of four house plans, the site plan, the infrastructure for the site, the construction of the homes, and the marketing and sales.
This development resulted from the desire of the City and the neighborhood to create new affordable, single-family homes in the Oakhurst Community of South Decatur. Using 1.5 acres of land that was part of the Scottish Rite Hospital property, the Authority, at the request of the City and the DeKalb County Community Development Department, acquired the land for development. The acquisition assisted the adjoining Scottish Rite development to fill its financing gap and allowed the Authority to address the community's desire for housing.
Ultimately 10 homes were built and sold for an average of $120,000 with an appraised value of $255,000. The equity is forgiven over a 12 year period in order to encourage the buyers to remain members of the community. However, if a sale occurs prior to the end of the 12 year period the Authority will receive funds that it can then use for future affordable housing efforts. HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson visited the Village at Oakhurst during homeownership month in 2002 to recognize the efforts of all the parties involved.
Priority to buying one of these homes was given to people who lived or worked in Decatur and whose income did not exceed 80% of the area median income. Due to the tremendous opportunity, the Authority planned a lottery to choose the lucky homebuyers. An extensive marketing campaign throughout Decatur resulted in a large pool of eager homebuyers. Among the 10 homeowners were a firefighter, a City government staffer, a teacher, and a retiree.
The Village at Oakhurst represents the largest group of new single-family homes sold at affordable prices in Decatur in well over 25 years. This was accomplished through the support and efforts of the City, the Community, and the Housing Authority.