Several projects are ready for construction after some delay, but others are running into unforeseen snags.
Northwest Georgia Housing Authority Executive Director Sandra Hudson and authority attorney Stewart Duggan told the board Wednesday that the closing for conversion of High Rise No. 1 at 906 Fifth Ave. should take place no later than July 24.
Two dozen of the units in the high rise will be converted to a licensed personal care home while the remaining 76 units are to be renovated and used for Section 8 housing.
Renovation of the Park Homes development on Reservoir Street is also expected to get underway soon.
At the same time, Hudson said the architect for the new apartment complex at Altoview Terrace and another development in Rockmart has resigned.
“So we’re a little behind,” Hudson said.
Randy Lippert, the authority’s general contractor, said the new single-family homes on Maple Street are nearing completion and framing for two new duplexes on East 12th Street is nearly 90 percent complete.
They’ve also picked up construction permits for two more new units in the Joe Wright Village development off Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in North Rome.
Members of the authority spent considerable time rehashing a decision by the Planning Commission to reject a special use permit for new duplex housing at 1312 and 1314 Maple St.
Duggan, who was not present for the planning commission discussions, said based on what was reported in the Rome News-Tribune, concerns for the safety of children which might live in units along the heavily-trafficked Maple Street expressed during the planning commission meeting could potentially be considered a violation of the Fair Housing Act.
“They expressed concerns over the safety of children. I’m not sure of the context in which that statement was made, but that type of comment is usually a red flag in fair housing,” Duggan said. “You’re supposed to show them everything and provide complete access and let families themselves decide whether it’s safety appropriate or not.”
The vote against was essentially a vote against affordable housing, said Housing Authority Chairwoman Lee Hight.
There is still hope the full Rome City Commission would approve in the SUP following a public hearing before the commission July 8, Hudson said.
Officials with the Georgia Department of Community Affairs will be touring public housing units in both Rome and Rockmart on July 17.