Walton Community Services Opens 15th Accessible Community for Persons With Disabilities

Augusta, Ga.–Walton Community Services recently celebrated the opening of its 15th accessible/affordable housing community for persons with disabilities in the CSRA, featuring 11 fully accessible units and one manager unit, including wider doorways, roll-in showers, an accessible kitchen and more.

Located in a growing area of South Augusta, the new residential community is part of a neighborhood revitalization effort led by Augusta-Richmond County and others, who invited Walton Community Services as a community partner. (Other organizations include: South Augusta Redevelopment, Habitat for Humanity and the Community Development Collaborative, made up of East Augusta Community Development Corporation, Antioch Ministries, Promise Land Community Development Corporation, Sand Hills Community Development and the 30901 Development Corporation.) Walton Legacy was funded through an 811 Capital Advance through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and through HOME funding from the Augusta-Richmond County Housing & Community Development Department.

“Since 1996, Walton has played an important role in providing accessible housing for persons with disabilities throughout the CSRA,” said Beth Miller, Vice President of Walton Community Services. “Through this partnership, not only are we moving a step forward in transforming the CSRA into a preferred community for persons with disabilities, but we are helping to improve the community at large.”

“I grew up in south Richmond County and know the challenges inherent in it,” said Commissioner Joe Jackson, who was instrumental in obtaining HOME funding for the project. “My objective throughout my career as a commissioner has been to help our neighbors in South Augusta, one rooftop at a time, This unique partnership joins our many other ongoing neighborhood projects to help ensure the revitalization of this important area in our city.”

Walton Legacy also represents the first Walton community designed from the ground up to meet green housing standards as determined by Enterprise Green Communities, an independent program certifying green building practices for affordable, multifamily housing developers. Features include water conservation plumbing and irrigation systems; Energy Star Version 3 and high efficiency units; low VOC paints and formaldehyde-free cabinetry; recycled construction waste; and a smokefree building policy.

Four of the apartments are also dedicated to serving Money Follows the Person, a Medicaid grant managed locally by Walton Options for Independent Living. The grant assists persons with disabilities and chronic conditions in transitioning from long-term care in an institutional setting to independent living.

To date (including Walton Legacy), Walton Community Services provides more than 236 fully accessible/affordable apartment homes for persons with disabilities and seniors throughout the CSRA. Walton is filling an important niche for well-designed, yet affordable homes so that persons with disabilities and seniors can live independently, conveniently located near transportation, health care, shopping, dining and entertainment. Yet many more persons with disabilities and seniors remain on our waiting list and community support is important if we are to meet this community need.

Walton’s 15 accessible apartment communities are located in Augusta, Augusta, Harlem, Hephzibah, North Augusta, South Augusta and Thomson.

Walton Foundation for Independence restores hope and independence to those needing community support following temporary illness, injury or a life-changing disability. Its partners include Walton Community Services, which provide independent living settings throughout the CSRA for families with disabilities and for seniors; and Walton Options for Independent Living, which provides employment assistance and other services for those with disabilities. For more information, visit www.wrh.org