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Reddick grand opening welcomes residents home

Evelia Keatts is relieved that her loved-one, Dionely Lima Sagastume of El Salvador, 85, now calls Senior Residences at Reddick Street home. 
 
Wilma Alexander enjoys her new kitchen and space at Senior Residences at Reddick Street in Franklin. As the new Resident Association Director, Alexander is excited to begin planning events such as Bingo and movie night for residents. 
 
“She is such a loving force in my life. If anything ever happened to me, now I know that she has a safe, secure and warm place to call home,” Keatts said.
 
Community leaders, government officials and thrilled residents gathered yesterday for the grand opening of the senior apartments located at 129 Strahl Street in Franklin. 
 
“This is really the start of momentum for the redevelopment of Franklin Housing Authority properties,” Franklin Mayor Ken Moore said. 
 
“Franklin is challenged in diverse housing and this is a step toward more affordable housing. This is a jump for seniors living on a fixed income. For many, this is a dream come true.”
 
The development for low-and moderate-income senior citizens has been long coming.
 
“I was counting down the days,” said resident Margaret Patton, who moved in two weeks ago. “I feel like a kid in a candy store.”
The apartments feature one bedroom, one bath units as part of the 48-unit 48,000 square foot, three-story facility with a gathering room equipped with a large flat-screened TV and spacious outdoor space.
 
Most residents seem to be enjoying their aesthetically pleasing kitchen the most, which is adorned with dark wood cabinets with metal finishes and a dishwasher.
 
Derwin Jackson, executive director of FHA, visited with residents and guests on the opening day. 
 
The was anxious to begin the next step of the organization’s goal to provide more affordable housing to residents.
“I’m excited more so for the residents and what this means to them. It’s improving their quality of life,” Jackson said.
 
The facility is part of Franklin Housing Authority’s mission to provide low-income housing to Franklin residents. The site marks the former location of the FHA Reddick Street public housing units. 
 
Over the next several years, as part of a multi-phase redevelopment program, the FHA board will implement the plan, which calls for replacing the current 297 FHA housing units with 308 new dwellings. 
 
Resident Association Director Wilma Alexander is especially anxious to begin planning activities for seniors. The FHA resident’s association will have its first activity meeting in the coming weeks, she said.
 
“We plan to provide such activities as Bingo, movie nights on the flat screened T.V. and game nights,” Alexander said. “Everyone just loves it here. I have enjoyed getting to know everybody.” 
 
Her sister, Alma McLemore, Franklin Planning Commissioner, said that she is also excited about Alexander’s new place.
 
“I am so excited for residents. This is a long-needed facility,” McLemore said. “Seniors can mingle and interact with each other. It’s a blessing. I am so proud to be in Franklin and see this affordable housing come to the city.”  
 
 

Posted on: 11/15/2013

 
 

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