The Dewar Group based in Valdosta announced this week that it plans to rehabilitate Raintree, Northgate and Baytree apartments in Hinesville. The group’s project team — made up of developers, builders, architects and property managers — intends to submit an application in the next month for a noncompetitive grant to the Georgia Department of Community Affairs to help fund the rehab. Company officials said they also will work with the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development office in Atlanta.
These apartment complexes are categorized as Section 8 housing and, as such, were, “established to provide decent and safe rental housing for eligible low-income families, the elderly, and persons with disabilities,” according to hud.gov.
To be eligible for public housing, residents’ income cannot exceed the following amounts, which are based on family size, according to HUD Hub Office public-affairs officer Joseph Phillips.
Income cannot exceed $17,350 for one person; $19,800 for two people; $22,300 for three people; $24,750 for four individuals; $26,750 for five people; $28,750 for a family of six; $30,700 for seven people; and $32,700 for a family of eight, Phillips said.
Company representatives hosted an open house Wednesday at the La Quinta Inn and Suites in Flemington to share information and address residents’ concerns. The turnout was sparse, despite the group’s best efforts to publicize its presentation.
“We’d like to get started (on the rehab) no later than early 2014,” said Thompson Gooding, vice president of production for Dewar Properties and JT Companies.
Gooding said the three Section 8 multifamily housing complexes total 340 units. Raintree Apartments, 601 Saunders Ave., has 200. Northgate Apartments, 804 Veterans Parkway, has 80; and Baytree Apartment, 217 Bradwell St., has 60 units.
“Together, it’s a lot of housing,” he said. “We’re hoping (the rehab) will make a big impact on the community.”
Gooding said the Dewar Group plans to invest $31,000 per unit in “hard costs,” meaning building materials and labor for the rehabilitation. He said these complexes are due for improvement, as they are about 30 years old.
The project team plans to install new vinyl siding, replace leaky windows with energy-efficient ones, replace A/C units, put in new flooring and wood cabinets, paint and replace obsolete kitchen appliances with Energy Star appliances, according to Gooding. After the rehab is complete, tenants should see savings on their utility bills from the energy-efficient upgrades.
Amenities like new gazebos and top lots or playgrounds also will be added, and Raintree Apartments will receive a computer center, Gooding said.
Along with physical improvements to the buildings and units, the developers plan to upgrade outdoor lights and add side lighting to the housing areas in an effort to improve security, he said.
“It’s a simple thing that makes a big difference,” Gooding said.
The company executive said the rehabilitation itself will benefit the community as a whole in other ways. The group plans to train and provide jobs to individual workers and hire local subcontractors and suppliers whenever possible. Gooding said the community also will benefit from the many meals, lodging and fuel workers will need during the project’s construction phase.
Raintree, Northgate and Baytree apartment residents can email comments or questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.