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Hinesville Housing Authority cuts ribbon on Hineshouse
Liberty County Chamber of Commerce board member Leigh Smiley speaks while, from left, Hinesville Housing Authority Executive Director Debra Williams, Chamber office manager Erin Johnson and Melanie Thompson, the HHAs director of housing, resident initiatives and development, look on at the ribbon-cutting for Hineshouse Way Apartments. - photo by Photo by Lawrence Dorsey

The Hinesville Housing Authority had a ribbon-cutting Tuesday afternoon for its Hineshouse Way Apartments, which provides affordable housing for veterans.

Community members, Housing Authority staff and local officials gathered at the site of the Hineshouse Way four-unit apartment on Rebecca Street, where guest speakers talked about the housing serving local veterans. The other Hineshouse Way apartment is on Welborn Street and has two units.

Apartment construction started last summer and was completed earlier this year. Both apartments have herb gardens and are close to the Hinesville Veteran Affairs Outpatient Clinic, the Live Oak Public Libraries Hinesville branch, Armstrong Liberty Center and a veterans’ resident services site that offers a GED program, job training and resources.

Hinesville Mayor Allen Brown said the project was unique in Hinesville.

“They’re market units, and they are not attached to any housing subsidiary from HUD (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development),” he said. “So that’s pretty cool that they could provide this without any help from the federal government.”

Construction was funded through unrestricted funds at an estimated cost of more than $700,000, HHA Executive Director Debra Williams said after the ceremony.

During his remarks, Brown said, “This was developed to serve one of the needs of our community, which is to serve and provide more housing for veterans.”

Liberty County Chamber of Commerce board member Leigh Smiley congratulated the HHA and said she is ecstatic to see the community taking care of veterans.

“Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that we would build something like this in our downtown area,” Hinesville Assistant City Manager Kenneth Howard said. “Outstanding job. When I think back on affordable housing and providing decent, safe, sanitary places for people to live, we set the standard on Azalea Street. They have raised the bar here in providing housing units for veterans.”

Bishop Paul C. Johnson, the HHA board chairman, called the housing project “the beginning.” He said it was a good project that can make everyone proud.

“I can see the hand of God over this, and we’re glad to see a quality project for the veterans,” he said.

Johnson encouraged attendees to support HHA initiatives and collaborations within the community.

It was a day of celebration, Williams said. She thanked everyone who was involved in the construction of the apartments, HHA staff and board members, volunteers who planted the herb gardens, local government entities and the surrounding community.

Williams also thanked James McNair, a local veteran who recently became a homeowner under the HHA’s homeowner-share program. McNair briefly thanked those who helped him.

“Our veterans have paid their dues to the community and to the world,” Williams said. “When they return, they should receive nothing but the best.”

After the ceremony, guests attended a reception in one of the apartments and had an opportunity to tour the unit and property.

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