COVINGTON — Two hundred fifty units at Arbor Lakes apartments on Kirkland Road will be rehabilitated following a vote by the Newton County Board of Commissioners.

On June 18, commissioners approved the issuance of $23 million in tax-exempt multi-family housing bonds by the Covington Housing Authority to fund the rehabilitation. The bonds will be issued on behalf of Covington Leased Housing Associates III, working with development partner Dominium. The city of Covington has already approved the bond issue.

Neither government will be responsible for repaying the bonds, but their endorsement was needed because they are the local governing bodies. Although the Housing Authority will issue the bonds, it will not own, operate or manage the apartments. The Housing Authority will receive an issuer fee of one-eighth of 1 percent. The bonds will be repaid through revenues generated by the apartment complex.

In addition to the tax-exempt bonds, Dominium will cap rental rates at the apartments in exchange for tax credits from the Georgia Department of Community Affairs.

Jordan Richter, a development associate with Dominium, told commissioners that the company has been working with Covington Leased Housing Associates for about 10 years. Dominium purchased Arbor Lakes in February and plans an extensive renovation, he said, including new plumbing, lighting, flooring, cabinets, counter tops, and appliances, along with upgraded ADA accessibility and security.

“We’ve done a lot of these projects,” Richter said. “We’ve been successful doing them. We do operate on an occupied rehab basis, which essentially means for each unit contractors are going to go in and spend a couple of hours over a week timeframe getting that unit up and running.”

Richter said Dominium has rehabbed about 4,000 units across Georgia.

“We find at the end of these projects communities are very happy, residents are extremely happy because their rent isn’t affected by this rehab, but they are getting a new unit,” he said.


I have been editor of the Rockdale Citizen since 1996 and editor of the Newton Citizen since it began publication in 2004. I am also currently executive editor of the Clayton News Daily, Henry Daily Herald and Jackson Progress-Argus.