Contact: Sherry Tyler
National affordable housing developer rehabilitates Savannah property following hurricane damage, takes steps to reduce flooding risk
VITUS REVIVES HURRICANE-DAMAGED AFFORDABLE HOUSING COMMUNITY
Release Date: May 7, 2019
Savannah, Ga. – Vitus, a national developer and owner of affordable housing, has announced the planned preservation and renovation of the 100-unit Westlake Apartments. Along with a new property in Gainesville, this increases the company’s footprint in Georgia to a total of five properties. As part of the acquisition, Vitus renewed the building’s Section 8 Housing Assistance Payment contract for a 20-year period, helping to preserve and renew a property that has served as a source of affordable housing in the community for 45 years.
The large-scale rehabilitation project at Westlake Apartments comes at an opportune time following damage from Hurricane Matthew and will dramatically improve quality of life for the residents.
“We are proud to partner with the Housing Authority of Savannah on this project and look forward to helping the community continue to recover from the devastation caused by Hurricane Matthew in 2016,” said Samantha Cullen, development manager for Vitus. “Our team specializes in protecting and extending the life of properties in competitive markets like Savannah where there is a real need for affordable housing.”
In addition to the physical rehabilitation process, Vitus is working with the Savannah Tree Foundation to plant 70 trees throughout the property. This green initiative enhances the natural environment of the property and reduces the threat of flood damage.
“Our partnership with the Savannah Tree Foundation is an important step toward environmental equity,” said Cullen. “These trees provide a healthier environment for children while helping to manage storm water for the property and surrounding area.”
Renovation for the Westlake Apartments is currently underway and scheduled to be completed by the end of 2019. Vitus’s $6.9 million investment will cover numerous interior and exterior improvements such as full kitchen and bathroom remodels, updated plumbing, mechanical, and electrical systems, new flooring, updates to exterior facades and landscaping, upgrades to the laundry facility, sidewalk and parking lot repairs, and a new community building. To honor Vitus’s commitment to environmentally-friendly construction and housing, upgrades will include high-efficiency lighting packages, low-E coated windows, ENERGY STAR® qualified appliances, and high-efficiency plumbing fixtures.
The construction project is already underway and expected to create only minimal disruption for residents and the surrounding community.
At Vitus, our mission is to create positive impact - one community, one family and one life at a time. Since 1996 we have partnered with lenders, investors and public agencies to preserve and extend the life fo existing affordable housing across the country inmarkets with the greatest need. Through holistic renovation, we focus on the well-being of residents and rejuvenationg the surrounding community to both improve the overall quality and incorporate features that promote physical activity, community gathering and energy efficiency. To date, our team has provided stable homes to more than 25,000 residents in 23 states. www.vitus.com