Suzanne Roland, Downtown Development Director, announced that the city will receive a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and urban Development.
“500,000 — buck-a-roos,” Roland said. “This grant money is to be used toward the purchase of the former O’Jay Mills building to be renovated into Cherokee Mills Lofts affordable housing.”
This money will be turned over to the Calhoun Affordable Housing authority, which will use the $500,000 grant, along with low-income housing tax credit federal home loans, to purchase the building.
Now, plans are underway for the $11.2 million affordable housing project, which was one of 10 to gain a $1 mil-lion 2010 consent award through the federal home loan program during the summer months.
The 110,000 square-foot building will house approximately 50 to 60 garden-style apartments, which will contain anywhere from one to three bedrooms, officials stated.
There are still many steps to go through to secure the necessary funding for the entire project.
Roland said that the $1 million HOME loan program grant combined with the $500,000 CBD grant is a start, but officials still anticipate a Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) tax credit to help with the financing.
“We can start planning the celebration,” Roland said. “We just can’t celebrate — yet.”