AIKEN, S.C. (WJBF) — Aiken’s planning commission is giving the green light to a multi-million-dollar affordable housing project. Nearly 100 1, 2, and 3-bedroom apartments are planned for Sundy Avenue on the city’s northside.

“All units will be constructed according to South Carolina Housing standards to make it look like market rate on both the inside and the outside,” Vice President of Development for AMCS Randy Clack told Aiken City Planning commissioners.

90-apartment complex planned at Sundy Avenue in Aiken

The “workforce housing” will be targeted toward first-year teachers, firefighters, policemen, and others. The development will use low-income housing tax credits. You will need an income between $31,500 and $45,000 to live there.

“That’s the income ban of people that will be able to afford to live here, and also you can’t make more than that to live here,” he added.

The rent is expected to be $800 and $1,200.

Mixed-income units aren’t an option since they would require more homes and cost developers more. Planning commissioners expressed concerns about possible housing choice voucher tenants moving in.

“My constituents were under the impression that this would just be another section eight apartment building, because we have Pacers Run around the corner and they have been dissatisfied with that. This is not,” District 1 Councilwoman Gail Diggs told NewsChannel 6’s Aiken Bureau Chief Shawn Cabbagestalk.

“The need for affordable housing is so great for people that fall within that income ban they typically fill it up very quickly. And then we’ll have a waiting list of folks who are employed within the income,” Clack shared. He added that there is no cap on the number of section eight vouchers the development can be accepted.

The entrance and buildings will have cameras.

“We are gonna talk to public safety about doing routine courtesy patrols through the site, whether that’s bi-hourly, quad-hourly, whatever that looks like,” he said. “A lot of these residents right here in this area are older, retired residents. A lot of ’em live alone. They love to have a strong public safety presence,” Diggs shared.

Income limits

There will likely be a playground, walking trail, and dog park.

“There’ll be a business printing center available to all tenants where they can conduct business meetings. There will be washer and dryer hookups in each unit, as well as a community laundry facility,” Clack added.

Washers and dryers could come standard. “We’re looking at potentially providing washers and dryers for each individual unit. It’s purely a logistical issue. The washer-dryers are very few and far between and apparently difficult to come by,” he added.

Speed bumps could be added later. “We don’t have sidewalks on this side. So, it’ll be easy for pedestrians to be hit by a car. We wanna make sure that everybody slows down and the only way, only thing to slow ’em down the speed bumps,” Diggs added.

Councilwoman Diggs suggests background checks be done on people moving in.

“Because all of your residents gonna want to know that everybody in there is good people that they’re all there for the same reason to have somewhere not only nice to live but safe to raise their families,” she said.

The project will cost $25 million.

“Every document that the city has put out seems to be highlighting the north side come develop here, come build something here. Going into an area where the city is calling for development spurring future development. We find it very difficult to see property values decreasing in the future,” he said.

“Having the development on the north side will attract businesses, restaurants, and hopefully a grocery store because we have one on this side of town. We know rooftops are what attract businesses and grocery stores,” Diggs shared.

The project will be similar to Toole Hill and Asheton Oaks.

“It’s affordable, it was made available to working people who would like to realize their dream of home ownership. So this is our perfect example. This is the model for affordable housing,” Diggs said.

The plan could go before the city council in March. If approved, construction could start next year.