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Franklin Housing Authority plans 27 new buildings in downtown Franklin

The Franklin Housing Authority intends to build on this plot of land.

The Franklin Housing Authority (FHA) is in the process of designing 27 buildings that will comprise 65-units behind the Williamson County Public Library on Columbia Avenue. The planned buildings will be a new home for nearly 200 people who qualify for public housing in Franklin.

“Every year, the Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA) has an applicant process for projects in the state to qualify for tax credits,” Director of FHA Derwin Jackson told Franklin Home Page. “It’s a very competitive process, but we were selected to complete this project.”

The tax credits the THDA awarded the FHA amount to about $10.5 million, which the agency now has to sell to banking or investment institutions in exchange for real dollars.

“We’ve estimated that the costs for the new project will be about $12 million, “Jackson said. “Ideally, we would like to start construction in November or December of 2014 and have the building completed in a year’s time.”

The agency owns roughly 60 acres of land in Franklin, including the plot where the new building will be located. All of the land the agency owns is designated for public housing or future public housing projects.

“Phase one was completing the senior building,” Jackson said. “Phase two will be completing this building for families. Phase three will be a major rehabilitation of the properties we own on Spring St. and Johnson Circle. That will be a five to 10 year project. If I had a lot of money, all these projects would all be completed tomorrow.”

The agency partners with local businesses, churches, schools and nonprofits to serve the 700 people the agency currently assists.

“Our main focus is affordable housing, however, we’re here to serve the community,” Jackson said. “We have to help people become self-sufficient by trying to identify things that they need. We do clothing drives for business attire, we partner with Colombia State University to offer computer lessons. Our renters are put in an ESCRO program where we help them save for things they may need like a down payment on a home or a new car.

“We’re not giving a hand out but a hand up,” Jackson said.

The agency makes all of their services available to the people they serve in a monthly newsletter, as well as through their website and social media outlets.

“Our door is open to our people if they need us. We publish all of our success stories in the newsletter every month. So far we’ve had at least 20 families buy their own homes and we’ve helped a lot of people get on their feet. I have a great staff that is made up of people who are really concerned,” Jackson said.

To learn more about the Franklin Housing Authority, click here.

Michael Ackley covers the city of Franklin for Franklin Home Page. Contact him at michael@franklinhomepage.com.

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