A new 50-unit subdivision, aimed at affordable living, was warmly inaugurated Monday with a packed ribbon cutting and open house.
The new Tucker Cottages at Ragland and Colquitt streets already has 28 units filled, with the remaining 22 units nearly completed and promised to qualified applicants. The project was developed by DASH – which stands for Dependable, Affordable Sustainable Housing – in partnership with Gateway Companies.
Representatives from Gateway Management Company, Inc., DASH for LaGrange, Inc., Georgia Department of Community Affairs and the city of LaGrange attended the event Monday with residents of Tucker Cottages.
“This is a unique project, certainly the first of its kind we’ve managed in LaGrange,” said Randy Fleece, president of Gateway Management Company, as he opened the dedication.
DASH Executive Director Ricky Wolfe said DASH was “proud to be a part of this.” He added that this year is DASH’s 10th anniversary and thanked the Callaway Foundation for providing a grant a decade ago that allowed the group to start in LaGrange and the city for its continued support, and thanked Gateway for partnering in the project.
LaGrange Mayor Jeff Lukken said he and other city officials were pleased with the final results, adding that affordable housing does not mean that the quality of the buildings is compromised. All of the cottages are EarthCraft House certified, which means that only energy-saving construction and materials were used.
Tucker Cottages resident Barbara Adams shared how grateful she is to be able to live in such a beautiful and efficient home. After a short blessing for the community and the day’s activities by state Rep. Carl Von Epps, everyone moved from their outdoor seats to the front of the Community Building for the ceremonious ribbon cutting.
Annie Hall steadied the ribbon with its large yellow and green bow, and her friend Katherine Pla took command of the ceremonial scissors. Pla cut the ribbon to the applause and smiles of the large crowd.
Some guests opted to tour homes, and Jo and Bobby Jones, the first residents of the Tucker Cottages community, opened their home up to guests. The Joneses said their energy costs for their new home is about 25 percent of what they had to pay in their previous residence.
The house included an open floor plan of the kitchen, dining room and living room and a contemporary overall design. Several guests said they appreciated the tour and were impressed with the home.
The festivities that the DASH and Gateway Management planned went beyond a simple ribbon cutting and open house; the event was more like friends hosting a house warming for an entire community.
— News editor Matthew Strother contributed to this report.