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New affordable housing complex to open on Pennsylvania Avenue
By Alyssa Hyman
An area on Savannah’s east side once known for crime and substandard housing is transforming into a brand new affordable housing complex. Savannah Gardens has finally started construction on the fifth and final phase.
The project is redevelopment of Strathmore Estates and is located on the east side of Pennsylvania Avenue.
This will provide not only affordable homes, but homes in good conditions in a now very nice area. For many low-income families something like this can be extremely hard to find.
Depending on your household income, families could qualify for rent ranging between $400 and $700 a month.
Rent reflects average wages in the area.
In addition to being affordable rent wise, these units are energy efficient.
The fifth and final phase of Savannah Gardens will add the last 76 units to the 439 rental homes.
According to the city, the Strathmore Estates was 44 acres of crime-ridden substandard housing. The City of Savannah in partnership with nonprofit affordable housing providers has set out to stabilize and rebuild this community.
“This neighborhood came up out of the ground. It gave everybody who lived here a sense of pride. You can walk through the neighborhood is clean. People are well behaved. This is what we’re talking about. People doing the right thing, being at the right place doing the right thing at the right time,” John Hall with the City of Savannah said.
One mother who lives in one of the completed buildings said thanks to all of this, she no longer has to worry about putting dinner on the table.
“It was paycheck to paycheck,” Trenia Brown said.
Brown and her three kids struggled to get by where they used to live in the Windsor Forrest area.
“It was always trying to figure out when the next meal was going to be, or if the next bill was going to be paid,” she said.
Brown said she worried about crime and the conditions she was in, but that was before she and her family found Savannah Gardens.
“There’s enough – the rent is paid, the light bill is paid,” she said. “I might have to stretch it a little more, but it’s not as bad as it was before.”
According to the city, since 2008 when the project first started crime in the area has dropped about 67 percent and violent crimes east of Pennsylvania Avenue have dropped even more than that.
According to Step Up Savannah, there are more than 17,000 people on waiting lists for affordable housing options in Savannah. It’s important to note some people may be counted more than once because their names are on multiple lists. At Savannah Gardens, already 300 people are on the list for phase four.
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