DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis, Super District 7 Commissioner Stan Watson, and DeKalb County Community Development Director Chris Morris were among the leaders who spoke at the groundbreaking ceremony of Lane Manor, a 54-unit HUD 202 community for older adults.
Before the ceremony began on the future site of the nearly $6 million project, Watson told Patch that Lane Manor was a "quality development" and it will be ideally positioned in the community.
"I think it's accessible here on Redan Road. They are very close to a lot of amenities," he said, including the , , and CVS and restaurants including and .
After the groundbreaking, Chris Ragon, director of communications for Lane Manor's owner, Retirement Housing Foundation (RHF), addressed some concerns brought up by Patch readers who commented on the first article on the development:
- On not hiring a local architect. Reason: RHF has worked with companies very familiar with its work and HUD.
"The architect [M Group] does a lot of HUD 202. He has been with us in Texas. Tower Construction built our community in Macon. There's a reason why we use the team we use. We try to do local as we can."
- On why the project is being built on virgin land instead of existing empty housing or retail. Reason: The HUD grant doesn't pay for the demolishing of an existing structure, even if it's zoned for residential, or the expense involved in relocating people from a structure. And if the property is commercial or industrial, "rezoning takes a lot of time and costs money," Ragon said.
Ragon also explained how the rent is figured for residents: it's by income, not assets. For example, you've got $1,000 a month coming from Social Security, but you've got $400 a month in medical bills, you're left with $600, and only 30 percent of that can be taken for rent, or $180, she said.