Oliver House, the 2nd phase of the revitalization of Allen Wilson Terrace, a former 200 unit public housing community originally built in 1941, is ready to open. The Decatur Housing Authority describes Oliver House as a new eighty unit elderly housing community with affordable rents as part of of the ongoing revitalization of the Allen Wilson Commmunity in downtown Decatur.
Oliver House is a “Williamsburg Style” building with 72 one-bedroom and 8 two-bedroom apartments designated for the elderly. The 82,419 SF four-story building is equipped with two elevators and a portion of the first floor also houses the new management/rental offices and maintenance facilities for the entire Allen Wilson property.
Oliver House is named for a distinguished African American businessman, Henry Oliver, who lived in this area in the 1800s.
The revitalization planning process was designed to retain the residents in the area while constructing the new housing. Many families were able to move directly into the new Oliver House. The overall campus includes a 1 1/2 mile paved walking trail to provide a place for residents to walk for exercise and to socialize outdoors.
The Allen Wilson community and Oliver House are participating in Southface Energy Institute’s EarthCraft Communities and EarthCraft House Multifamily programs. Earthcraft energy features include a 50 kWh photovoltaic (PV) solar power generating system; geo-thermal heating and cooling systems, geo-thermal water heating; rainwater harvesting for toilet flushing and landscape irrigation; and spray foam insulation in walls and attic spaces. The Housing Authority also incorporated green building practices including maximizing natural day lighting with thermally-efficient windows and ENERGY STAR appliances, incorporating bio swales into the design to minimize storm water runoff, and using Crystal Stream fixtures to purify storm water before it moves downstream.
Phase 1 included 40 units of family housing and Phase 2 includes these 80 units of senior housing. The Housing Authority is pursuing low income housing tax credits for Phase 3 which includes 71 units of family housing. They hope to begin construction in January, 2013.
Visit The Decatur Housing Authority website for more information.