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60-unit housing project gets city council approval

Staff Written News

By Tia Lynn Ivey

managing editor 

The lack of affordable housing within the City of Madison has long been a concern to local leaders and citizens alike. 

At the last regular meeting of the Madison Mayor and City Council Monday evening, the council unanimously approved a purchase agreement that will help facilitate the development of a “workforce affordable” 60-unit housing complex in the city. 

“This will benefit our city,” said Madison Mayor Fred Perriman. “I think we all know how important it is to have affordable homes in our community now.”

The 60-unit low-to-moderate income housing development is planned on a 10-acre plot located at 1180 Wheat Street. The plot of land is located in the Northwest corner of March and Wheat Streets. The development will be comprised of low-to-moderate priced townhouses.

The project is waiting on tax credit approval from the State of Georgia before moving forward. 

The project is the brainchild of the city’s Downtown Development Authority, which purports the new rental properties will add $12 million to the city’s tax base while offering tenants affordable rent prices between $400-$650 per month. 

DDA Director Ed Latham appeared before the council Monday evening to present a purchase agreement in which the city sells off 34 Transferrable Development Rights (TDRs) for about $261,000 to the  Woda Cooper Development, Inc., a company “specializing in the design, construction, and management of affordable housing in rural, suburban and urban communities.”

TDRs are a market-based ordinance, which promotes the voluntary transfer of growth from places where a community requires less development to places where a community would like to have more development. Environmentally-sensitive properties, open spaces, agricultural land, wildlife habitat, historic landmarks, or any other places that are important to a community are often the types of properties that desire less development, while areas close to jobs, shopping, schools, transportation, and other urban services are areas that are appropriate for extra development.

According to the purchase agreement, “A TDR allows the owner of the TDR to increase the residential density on a piece of real property by one unit during development and construction…The Downtown Development Authority of Madison enters into a lease agreement with Canaan Crossing Limited Partnership before December 31, 2020.

The TDRs sold off by the City of Madison will be used to facilitate a new affordable housing development called Canaan Crossing in Madison. 

e of the TDRs would also benefit the DDA. 

“The sale of the TDRs will completely move the city the and DDA out of debt [for this project] and put us in a position to even have a little money reserves. It’s a big plus,” explained Latham. 

Latham noted the this project will also benefit local businesses by help them recruit and keep good employees. 

“Different employers in the community are excited about this because it’s going to offer up housing for these people,” said Latham. “RIght now, they can’t get anyone to come live here because they can’t find any affordable rental properties.” 

The council unanimously approved the purchase agreement, contingent on approval from the city’s legal representation. 

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