On July 22 at 4 p.m. a crowd of Hinesville residents gathered underneath the car porch of Liberty Landings to celebrate its grand opening. Liberty Landings is Hinesville’s new senior living community for residents 55 years and older. During the grand opening members of the Hinesville Housing Authority spoke as well as Georgia State Representative, Al Williams. The facility was developed in mind for residents who already needed to downsize due to their reduced income and prefer to move back home or to be closer to their children. “We did allocate some units for affordable housing that would accommodate a housing choice voucher, but this property was designed primarily to address seniors that have retired, widowed, or had a decrease in their income. We wanted to attract the demographic that was changing their lifestyle”, said Melanie Thompson, the CEO of the HInesville Housing Authority. “The organization wanted to present senior citizens with a place that they could be proud of and live comfortably. A living community is an attractive option because it gives seniors the pleasure of living with others in their age group while aging in place.”
The monthly rent is from $780-$980, all utilities included. But just because the facility is for aged residents doesn’t mean that others who need housing can’t benefit from it too. Thompson said that their mission is “to provide housing solutions whether you live on a fixed income or you have a change in income”. Thompson addressed people who were applying for an affordable housing unit. “A person would have to make two and a half times the rent if an affordable housing unit was available. They could use their housing choice voucher because we have allocated it in our development to address affordable housing too,” she said.
The opening of the living community addresses a serious need in Liberty County. “We have a shortage of housing in Liberty County, whether it be seniors or other eligible age groups. As time has progressed a lot of people cannot afford housing. I just needed to come because there are few things that are more important than affordable housing”, said Georgia representative, Al Williams.
Amenities for Liberty Landings will include a resident initiatives development manager on staff that will provide calendar activities. Also, a passenger van will be available for any seniors that want to go shopping or run errands. A community library and an onsite laundry room is also in the building. There won’t be any healthcare professionals on site because the facility is deemed independent living. Because of Hinesville Housing Authority’s strong partnership with Diversity Health Center residents will be directed to go there. There will be activities planned with Diversity as well including wellness, diabetes,and hypertension checks.
Getting the facility together posed its challenges when lockdown was enforced. “There were some barriers [in regards to Covid 19]. Fortunately we did a lot of pre planning so we were able to address a lot of things prior to covid 19. But it did cause a delay in a supply of materials. But housing puts you in a category of an essential worker. So regardless of Covid we had to aggressively live up to the challenge”, said Thompson. Upon its opening Liberty Landings will implement social distancing. Units will be looked at online and appointments must be made in advance. If interested go to the link https://hineshouseproperties.securecafe.com/onlineleasing/liberty-landings0/guestloginaspx to submit an application. For any questions call (912) 368-3466.
Thompson hopes that opening this facility will cause a ripple effect. “I believe that we can create a trend for the South East in reference to addressing housing needs and demystifying what affordable housing really is and who really needs it. And through Covid 19 we don’t even know the magnitude of the new demographic and how they would look because of decreased hours, lost wages, end of jobs- so this sets a stage for us to be prepared for all or some of the housing needs that must be met”. The Hinesville Housing Authority has more developments to open in the future. “Our goal is to work with each municipality to find out what their needs and wants are within their community. To address their specific needs. To just be a source, a nucleus, to lean on so that we can help the community of Liberty County,” Thompson said.