By: Emma Wheeler | WCTV Eyewitness News
November 12, 2019
Valdosta's China Garden was reduced to rubble Tuesday, but the lot isn't staying empty for long.
VALDOSTA, Ga. (WCTV) — The Valdosta community said its goodbyes to a local landmark. The former China Garden was reduced to rubble Tuesday, but the lot isn't staying empty for long.
Soon, affordable, low-income housing for seniors will be built in its place.
"We have a deficit on affordable housing," Neighborhood Development Director Vanessa Flucas says. "And it's not just among the young and the single parents. It's among the elderly and the older population also."
It's been about three years since a low income tax credit project like that has been built in Valdosta.
The city says the existing developments are always at capacity, with a waiting list.
"This will eliminate a lot of, basically, people that are lacking housing right now," Project Rescue Outreach Ministries founder Alonzo Atkins says.
Atkins says his organization serves between 100 and 150 homeless people every month.
"Dealing with a lot of homeless and less fortunate individuals and families, we find that the greatest cause is a lack of affordable housing and housing opportunities in this area."
With nearly 70 units, officials expect this development to be finished in about two years.
Flucas says it's a long road ahead, but there's hope for those in need.
"We can no longer call it a crisis," she says. "Because a crisis you see an end in sight. It's not a crisis, it's something we're going to be dealing with for a long time to come. So we need to think outside the box and think of different strategies to try and tackle this."
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