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The dilapidated husk of an old housing project on Atlanta’s Westside has a new lease on life, and similar revitalization and construction projects are slated to follow suit.
On Wednesday, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms joined the Westside Future Fund (WFF) to unveil a $5.5 million renovation of a 35-unit apartment complex on James P. Brawley Drive, in English Avenue.
Beyond spruced-up units, the complex also now features new outdoor communal spaces, laundry facilities and complimentary high-speed WiFi.
Part of WFF’s “Home on the Westside” initiative, the rehabilitation of the apartments means tenants displaced years ago as the complex fell apart are invited to return home.
City officials did not immediately respond to Atlanta Civic Circle’s questions about how many legacy residents are expected to return to the refreshed apartments, although resident Nicole Mincey said during the ceremony that she finally felt at home again.
“I don’t have to wander no more, and I feel so good that my little ones got somewhere to play — to call home,” she said. “I’m so blessed, and I’m so excited about my new place.”
Eugene Jones, CEO of Atlanta Housing (AH), said on Wednesday that the public housing agency is providing subsidized rent assistance for 20 of the complex’s units, via the HomeFlex program.
He added of the ribbon-cutting, “This is going to happen all year.” AH’s Herndon Square senior housing complex — another project rising from the ashes of a blighted English Avenue property — could be next, Jones said.
Speaking to WFF executive director John Ahmann Wednesday, Bottoms said, “Let’s find some other ribbons to cut and some other projects to announce. That’s what it’s all about.”
(Header image, via Westside Future Fund: Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, at right, joins English Avenue resident Nicole Mincey, center, for the ribbon-cutting.)