By Savannah Wilburn, Program Analyst, Columbia Field Office
Built on former Cherokee land, Olii Place in Mauldin, SC, was named after the Cherokee word for "friendship" in the hopes that it would become a place of community for its residents.
Columbia Field Office Director Kristine Foye and Community and Program Development Director Bradley Evatt joined county, city, and non-profit leaders in a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the grand opening of Olii Place on July 12th.
"Olii Place is just one example of how non-profit organizations and federal, state, and local government can work together to provide affordable housing solutions in communities," said Kristine. "I am proud that HUD was able to assist in the construction of Olii Place by providing funding through the HOME Investment Partnerships Program."
As the event participants toured units, one resident boasted how happy she was in her new place and thanked everyone for making it happen.
Partners in creating Olii Place include Mercy Housing, the Greenville County Redevelopment Authority, and South Carolina Housing and Finance Agency. The remainder of the project was financed through Wells Fargo.
"Housing is a human right," said James Alexander, President of Mercy Housing Southeast. "Our mission is to create program-enriched housing for seniors, individuals with disabilities, and low-economic resources. Olii Place exemplifies that mission."
Olii Place consists of 46 units, 11 of which are HOME-assisted units. This includes four one-bedroom units, five two-bedroom units, and two three-bedroom units. The property also consists of a gazebo, walking trail, playground, computer room, fitness room, two lounge rooms, a laundry facility, and ample on-site parking. The complex is also strategically located within a half mile of grocery stores, healthcare providers, and other essential services.
"Mauldin is growing, and we anticipate 6,900 homes coming to Mauldin in the near future," said Terry Merritt, Mayor of Mauldin. "Housing is becoming unaffordable, but we have many projects in development to offer solutions in affordable housing. Come join us and become one of us!"