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HRS Celebrates Housing Development Ribbon Cutting And Ground Breaking

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
HRS Celebrates Housing Development Ribbon Cutting And Ground Breaking

Nearly 100 new affordable housing units in Cookeville celebrated by Highlands Residential Services Tuesday.

The housing authority held a ribbon cutting for its newest development Oak Tree Towers and broke ground on its next phase Hickory Valley. Executive Director Dow Harris said the developments bring a new image to affordable housing.

“We celebrate the completion of phase two and phase three of an extremely ambitious strategic development plan to ultimately replace the entire inventory of Highlands Residential Services,” Harris said.

Oak Tree Towers includes 50 apartment units that are currently occupied off of Buffalo Valley Road. The 48 apartment homes of Hickory Valley will be located behind the completed development.

Harris said the units are a part of a five-phase strategic plan that began 10 years ago. Harris said the board at the time decided to redevelop an aging housing inventory.

“The discussion was housing that doesn’t look like typical brick, veneer row housing, but housing that fits into the community that would be welcoming and attractive,” Harris said. “The board was setting up pace.”

HRS Board Chair Dr. Robert Owens shared comments of residents that live at Oak Tree Towers. Owens said the feedback he received shows the importance of affordable housing.

“They were so thrilled to be able to move into a new place,” Owens said. “It almost brought tears to my eyes, and I have a couple of comments that they prepared that I want to share with you.”

“One is Miss Karen Owens. ‘I am so privileged. I have never in my 66 years been able to live where everything is brand new. I have no complaints. I absolutely love it,’” Owens said.

“This one is from Miss Ann Anderson. ‘If heaven is anything like my apartment, I am ready. It is so peaceful and quite. I am so grateful. I love it,’” Owens said.

THDA Executive Director Ralph Perry also spoke at the event. He said the master plan of Highlands Residential Services will change how affordable housing is perceived.

Cookeville Mayor Ricky Shelton and Putnam County Mayor Randy Porter also spoke on the need for the affordable housing in a growing community. Owens said the best is yet to come as dirt turns for the Hickory Valley housing.


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