Jordan’s Gate in Opelika, AL has won a 2010 Charles L. Edson Tax Credit Excellence Award in the Rural Housing category.
Photo Courtesy of The Bennett Group
The development of Jordan’s Gate in Opelika, Alabama was spearheaded by The Greater Peace Community Development Corporation and The Bennett Group. The property, which offers 48 units of affordable housing, was created to provide quality housing to families earning up to 60 percent of AMI. Jordan’s Gate is located in census tract 416 in Alabama. The statistics surrounding this census tract are staggering. Thirty-seven percent of residents live at or below the poverty level. This track contains Opelika’s largest low-income population and is located adjacent to the city’s greatest concentration of public housing. Further residents within this census track traditionally have the lowest education levels within the city. These factors are often believed to contribute to higher rates of crime.
Jordan’s Gate was designed to create the spirit of community and gracious living of the Craftsman period. Each of the three- and four-bedroom units features front porches, spacious lots, solid wood cabinetry, and energy efficient appliances. Every unit is connected by sidewalks leading to the centrally located community building which offers 3,200 square feet of community space. The building provides a computer center, fitness center, playground, and sports fields. To deter crime and ensure resident safety, security cameras cover approximately 50 percent of the development.
Residents also benefit from programs designed to encourage achievement. Residents are provided with opportunities for credit counseling and homeownership counseling to they will be ready to assume their role as homeowners in the future. All residents have been provided an option to purchase their units at the end of the Housing Credit compliance period. The Greater Peace CDC provides numerous services to the residents of Jordan’s Gate and the surrounding community. In particular, a Youth Leadership Academy seeks to identify leaders and potential leaders from the local high school system to participate in an eight-week program designed to teach students how to become leaders within their communities. Additionally, programs including Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and 4-H Circle; tutorial programs; and GED classes are offered to all residents. Nearly 20 percent of residents participate in these activities on a regular basis and most programs are offered without cost to the resident.
The property was financed with $8 million in Housing Credits syndicated by Enterprise Community Partners. An additional $1 million multifamily mortgage loan and a $20,000 Section 4 capacity building grant from Enterprise, along with a $1.3 million construction loan from Troy Bank and Trust, made the project financial possible.