For the first time in more than 30 years, a new place for low-income seniors to live is coming to East Macon-Bibb. The Hunt School Village is under construction now, and it will be a 60-unit affordable rental housing development for persons 62 and older.
The $11.8-million-dollar development is possible thanks to partnership between Macon-Bibb County, In-Fill Housing, Inc., the Macon-Bibb County Housing Authority, and Stafford Builders and Consultants.
District 3 Commissioner Elaine Lucas sees a lot of potential for the entire community because of this development. “This is an example of something wonderful that’s happening where we have this eyesore,” she says.
The former administration building will be converted into offices and community space for residents and will house meeting rooms, a kitchen, a fitness center and a computer center. The two original classroom buildings have been demolished to make way for one of the two new buildings which will be built. These two new buildings will each house thirty 1BR and 2 BR units.
Each unit will include a microwave, range, refrigerator, dishwasher, washer/dryer hookups, ceiling fans, and carpet. Site amenities will include on-site management and maintenance, laundry rooms, decorative fencing with security gates, and heavy landscaping. Numerous accessible units will also be provided.
Henry A. Hunt Elementary School was named for a noted African-American educator who led efforts to educate minority youth in underserved rural Georgia. Built in the 1950’s, the school served east Macon children until 2003 when it was permanently closed. The school then fell into disrepair and in recent years has been a blighting influence on the surrounding community.
In November 2014, the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) allocated $6,572,860 in federal and state Low Income Housing Tax Credits to the project. The sale of these tax credits yielded $9,600,000 in equity funds from Wells Fargo and Sugar Creek Realty. As part of the application for those credits, Macon-Bibb County pledged $450,000 from its Community Development Block Grant funds and later provided an additional $1,000,000 in HOME funds. In addition, the Macon-Bibb County Housing Authority will provide Section 8 rental assistance for all 60 units, thereby assuring affordability for fixed-income seniors.