The closing of the mills in Columbus, Georgia’s Mill District was the beginning of decadeslong deterioration. And by the 2000s, the area was rife with poverty, unemployment, crime, and various environmental hazards. The community’s public housing development—Chase Homes—was nearly 70 years old.
In 2019, the city was designated as a Purpose Built Community, which focuses on developing mixed-income housing, promoting community wellness, and providing a cradle-to-college education pipeline. The Banks—a newly opened 102-unit housing complex—is just one part of making the Mill District just that.
“A key feature of this development is the co-location of the MercyMed Health Clinic,” says Lisa Walters, CEO of The Housing Authority of Columbus, Georgia. “Other amenities include an on-site leasing office, community room, fitness center, on-site laundry, business center, playground, dog park, community garden, and access to the Riverwalk.”
The health clinic is the standout amenity of the community, as it provides preventive care, health screenings, educational sessions, and referral assistance for both residents and the local community. Uninsured patients pay a sliding scale fee based on their ability to pay, and the clinic is staffed by the Mercer University School of Medicine.
Residents of the $31.4 million development also enjoy services like after-school care via the Boys & Girls Club, adult and vocational education opportunities, STEAM/leadership programming for young girls, employment training, and nutritional education, as well as easy access to amenities and services throughout the greater Columbus community.
Located near Uptown Columbus, the development has easy access to a 34-mile trail system, giving residents direct routes to schools, employers, and recreational opportunities.