The first DASH – Dependable Affordable Sustainable Housing – project in Hogansville held its grand opening ceremony Tuesday for Stony Ridge Apartments, after breaking ground in November 2013.
DASH founder and Chairman Ricky Wolfe thanked Hogansville Mayor Bill Stankiewicz and city officials for allowing a DASH project in the city to address the city’s housing needs.
“It’s very difficult sometimes to get a city-elected leadership group to buy into what we’re doing,” said Wolfe, noting that the organization is often thought to have affiliations with housing authorities. “The quality and quantity of housing in Hogansville is something he (Stankiewicz) is extremely concerned and passionate about. We’re just extremely honored to be able to play a role in that venture with you.”
Stankiewicz said housing has been an ongoing issue in the city for years.
“We’ve known for quite some time in Hogansville that we’ve had what we call a dilapidated housing problem,” Stankiewicz said. “It soon became apparent that it’s fine to tear down dilapidated housing, but it doesn’t solve the problem. The problem is one of affordable housing. It’s wonderful to come here today and see this after hearing all the complaints and gripes and worries … Thank you for this project. You’ve really helped our city.”
Gateway Management President Randy Fleece said 21 of the 56 apartment units are currently occupied. The company has now managed four DASH projects and is currently working on one in West Point.
The tax-credit complex is located on Lincoln Street across form the police department and has 55 units of one-, two- and three-bedroom units.
“The most important thing we’re doing here is providing affordable housing to middle and low income residents,” said Fleece. “I’m looking forward to getting to know Hogansville and Stony being a big contributor to the community going forward.”
In light of the recent protests in Ferguson, Missouri, after the shooting of an unarmed black teen by a police officer, Wolfe said one way Troup County can foster a safe community is having safe housing, like Stony Ridge and other DASH properties.
“One of the basic things people have to have is a decent, safe place to live in which to raise their family,” said Wolfe. “And that’s the role we are very honored to play.”
According to the DASH website, the organization was formed in 2002 to address growing concerns of inadequate, unsafe housing in LaGrange and today provides housing services including home-ownership opportunities, safe and affordable rental options, financial education, credit repair counseling, home improvement loan programs, community building programs and neighborhood leadership development.