Housing complex to open soon

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 18, 2003

Magnolia Gardens housing complex, 1943 Marie Foster St., a joint project of the Jonathan Daniels Community Development Corp. and Olympia Construction, should be opening in mid-January, according to Joyce Kendrick, executive director of the JDCDC. But with a big if &045; if the weather patterns producing rain that have slowed down construction this fall do not return.

Kendrick said that Olympia is in charge of construction of the complex, designed for qualifying low- and moderate-income families and singles beginning their careers. It will have 48 one-, two- and three-bedroom units. JDCDC will handle the program side, Kendrick said, including receiving applications.Interest from prospective renters has been strong, with an average of 50 calls a day to JDCDC in September when completion was expected in October. Still, there are about 25 calls a day, she said.

While JDCDC is receiving applications, the admissions process will be handled by an independent management firm, Kendrick said. In addition to the housing units, the center will have a learning center with library, and space for other activities such as health/wellness and financial and computer literacy programs, and leadership programs.

Kendrick stressed that the role of Magnolia Gardens is to provide safe, affordable rental housing for individuals and families who would not otherwise have it, and to provide residents with the skills to become homeowners should they so desire.

For example, classes on topics such as financial literacy, credit counseling, good neighbors, a safety workshop, maintenance tips and fire-prevention tips are all envisioned, she said.

What we want here, she said, is a real community atmosphere and to overcome any stigma associated with renting, while at the same time providing people with a healthy environment and skills to strive toward owning their own home.