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Carrollton Village gets $7.57 million renovation

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By Phyllis McLaughlin

A recently completed renovation at the Carrollton Village apartment complex, located off of Highland Avenue across from Park Lanes shopping center, involved far more than just new paint and carpeting.

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The $7.57 million project included replacing doors, windows and heating/air conditioning units and installing low-flow faucets and toilets to make the 80 units more energy efficient. Each unit is now fully accessible to handicapped residents and visitors.

Additionally, each apartment is equipped with Energy Star-rated washers and dryers and dishwashers, and each has a small storage unit located next to small backyard patios.

The project represented the power of collaboration between state and federal agencies that helped fund the program and design the renovations now in place.

That collaboration was celebrated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony in front of the management office at the complex Thursday morning, May 30.

Representatives from all of the projects partners – Kentucky Housing Corporation, Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development, Regions Bank, Lancaster Pollard and Wallick Communities – were on hand to speak about the project, introduced by Wallick Chief Executive Officer Thomas Feusse.

Donna Dudgeon, project manager at HUD’s Louisville Multifamily Program Center, which funded a portion of the project, said the experience working with the other agencies and the team of developers from Wallick was enjoyable.

“This is a stellar example of agencies collaborating to aid much-needed affordable housing complexes,” she said.

Providing affordable housing in rural communities is a “high priority” for the Obama Administration, said Thomas G. Fern, director of the Kentucky USDA Rural Development agency. He said his agency has $450 million earmarked for this type of project.

“Everyone cannot afford … home ownership,” Fern said, adding that some people also prefer to rent rather than buy. “We are very big in partnering, outreach and collaboration. We appreciate our partners working together and bringing their resources to the table to do these programs and projects.”

The apartment complex is managed by Wallick Communities, a company based in Columbus, Ohio, that also has development and construction divisions. The company specializes in affordable multifamily housing and manages nearly 14,000 units in 200 communities throughout the Midwest. The company also has completed 360 developments valued at more than $1 billion in 19 states. 

In addition to loans and funding from HUD and Rural Development, and investment firms specializing in these projects, the local project received $613,000 in tax credits from the Internal Revenue Service.

The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit, introduced by the Tax Reform Act of 1986 and administered in the state by the Kentucky Housing Corporation, is “the most successful housing program the government ever created,” said Mark Offerman, KHC’s chief operating officer. Energy efficiency and handicapped accessibility “are exactly what we are trying to emphasize in the tax credits we administer.”

Offerman added that Wallick, itself, either donated or deferred $500,000 in project fees for the Carrollton project. “I’m glad to see this kind of commitment.”

But the people most impressed with the results of the renovation project were the residents.

“I’ve lived here since 1991,” said Tina McKinney, who had the honor of cutting the ribbon at the end of the ceremony. “I raised three children here. I love it here. It’s beautiful and clean. This is my home, and I appreciate everything you all have done. You all are great. Thank you so much.”

Candy Noble, who asked to remark on the project as well, said she’s lived at Carrollton Village since 1980 – a year after the complex opened. She raised her daughter here, and her granddaughter also has grown up in the complex. “I’ll probably die here,” she quipped.

“The greatest thing, so far, is having a washer and dryer and a dishwasher,” Noble said, adding that she is very pleased not to have to haul her laundry out to get it washed. “The apartments look great. Thanks for everything. It really means a lot.”