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A full house at new apartments
ribbon cut 1
Flanked by local officials and business colleagues, Bill Rea, developer of Goshen Properties, and Laurel Hart, director of housing finance for the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, cut the ribbon at the grand opening ceremony for Goshen Crossing. - photo by Photo by Paul Floeckher

It’s been a busy first few months for Goshen Crossing Apartments in Rincon.

The income-limited apartment complex opened its doors in June to help meet the need for affordable housing in Effingham County, and all 60 of its units were leased in three weeks.

To commemorate the successful opening, the developer, Rea Ventures Group LLC, and the management company, Boyd Management, joined community partners and local dignitaries for a ribbon cutting Friday.

 “Just the fact that it leased up as quickly as it did shows what a great demand there is, and we’re just tickled to death to be part of Effingham County,” said Bill Rea, developer of the complex off Highway 21 next to the Goshen Park Commercial Center.

“There is a huge need for affordable housing because home ownership is just not within the reach of a lot of people right now. It’s just not possible,” said Laurel Hart, director of housing finance for the Georgia Department of Community Affairs.

Goshen Crossing is available to people who do not earn more than 60 percent of the median income in the area. For example, a family of three could make no more than $32,880.

Rents start at $425 for a one-bedroom and peak at $605 for a three-bedroom. According to Boyd Management, approved residents began moving in as soon as Goshen Crossing received its certificate of occupancy June 22.

“This is not public housing. It’s people who work, people who support themselves, people who pay rent,” Hart said. “These aren’t people who are looking for a handout. These are people who are willing to work, and they work hard.”

Along with being affordable, the apartments are EarthCraft-certified as energy-, water- and resource-efficient. Each unit is equipped with Energy Star appliances and electrical fixtures, high-efficiency heating and air systems, and water-saving plumbing fixtures. In addition, all Goshen Crossing residents are required to recycle.

Goshen Crossing is funded through federal and state tax credits, which are sold to limited partner equity investors on the agreement that they keep rents at certain levels and lease only to people whose incomes don’t exceed set maximums. The Department of Community Affairs designates areas where complexes such as Goshen Crossing are needed.

“Because of the way we can use the tax credits, we’re able to reduce our rents and make them truly affordable,” Rea said.
With Goshen Crossing already full, Rea is looking to build phase II of the complex. He plans to build an additional 60 units adjacent to phase I, if tax credits are available.

The developer will know later this year if phase II of Goshen Crossing will receive tax credits. If so, Rea anticipates construction to start in the spring and the apartments to open at the end of next year.

Based on the number of people wanting to live in phase I of Goshen Crossing, Hart said, 60 more units would be a welcome addition.

“There is a significant waiting list,” she said.