Located in southwest Georgia, Albany has a diverse mix of low- to moderate-income workers employed in the agriculture, service, trade, and manufacturing sectors. Wealth Watchers, Inc., located in Jacksonville, Florida, is a Certified Housing Development Organization (CHDO) dedicated to providing communities with the highest quality of affordable housing opportunities. In 2019, Wealth Watchers received a $139,900 land acquisition loan from Community Housing Capital (CHC) to purchase approximately 14 acres as the future site of the Woodland Gardens Villas, a proposed 20-unit multi-family project located in Albany, Georgia. CHC also provided a pre-development line of credit for $250,000 to fund the initial soft costs of the Woodland Gardens Villas as well as future developments. The project offers one-, two- and three-bedroom garden-style apartments dedicated to low-income farm labor households, including those working on fish and oyster farms and on-farm processing, as well as retired disabled farm laborers. Additional financing came from USDA Rural Development grant programs for low-income farm labor households. All the apartments will receive Rental Assistance (RA) which requires residents to pay up to 30% of their adjusted gross income towards housing costs. The proposed project is expected to be completed by 2020.
The Woodland Gardens Villas is situated near various farms such as Healthy Living Farm, Cromartie Pecans, and Sunnyland Farms. Numerous shopping and dining opportunities are nearby, as well as various other essential community services, including public transportation. CHC’s acquisition loan and pre-development line of credit enabled Wealth Watchers to acquire the land for Woodland Gardens Villas at 100% LTC and to expand into local regions where affordable housing will have the highest impact.
The mission of Wealth Watchers Inc. is to build viable communities by expanding the knowledge of low-to-moderate income individuals to understand the importance of basic finance and the accumulation of wealth. Wealth Watchers Inc. achieves its’ mission by providing lending and education, neighborhood stabilization, community revitalization strategies, and small business services.