The circa 1906 chapel built at the former United Methodist Children’s Home, now called Legacy Park. This, and all of the property’s historic structures will get preserved. Beginning in June, the Decatur Housing Authority is using a portion of the property to temporarily house its residents in structures considered non historic and ultimately slated for demolishing. AJC file photo

Housing Authority to use former Children’s Home to house residents

During her Feb. 5 state of the city address Decatur Mayor Patti Garrett said that 2019 would bring more activity to the 77-acre Legacy Park (the former United Methodist Children’s Home), purchased by the city 15 months ago.

That includes the Decatur Housing Authority temporarily moving residents onto the site in shifts, probably beginning in June, with its impending “rehabilitation” of the 98-unit Swanton Heights.

During the work 25 to 30 families will temporarily vacate Swanton at any given time, with 10 of those families moving to Legacy. According to DHA Executive Director Douglas Faust Swanton’s interior will get gutted and completely rebuilt, while the exterior receives “enhancements.”

Families will move out of and then back into Swanton in three shifts. Faust anticipates the project will take two years and the DHA’s contract with the city for Legacy Park—approved by the city commission last week—is for 30 months.

DHA will use four duplexes and two single-family homes on the property’s southwest corner, all currently vacant and all scheduled for eventual demolition.

Over the past decade DHA has redeveloped 312 of its total 484 housing units. Later this spring 34 more units get added—of which 27 are affordable housing—with the opening of the new building at 1111 Oakview Road.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.