SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The Savannah College of Art and Design is looking to lend a hand in fulfilling the need for more workforce housing in the downtown area.
SCAD recently announced through their SCAD SERVE initiative that they’ll be converting one of their old dorms into nearly two-dozen studio apartments.
Fencing is already up around the former SCAD dorm, which is located on Pulaski Square, as the renovations to convert the space inside into 21 studio apartments are slated to begin in Spring 2021. SCAD says this three-story building will serve as housing that can be attainable for less than 30% of gross household income.
SCAD representatives say the apartments will be available to those who work downtown in hospitality or at the port, for instance, that wouldn’t normally be able to afford rent in the Historic District.
“We are taking one of our first residence halls offline, a building over on Barnard Street, renovating it into 21 studio apartments and offering that at below-market rates for workforce housing,” said Scott Linzey, SCAD SERVE.
Students and faculty from the School of Building Arts (architectural history, architecture, furniture design, interior design, preservation design, and urban design) will contribute to this SCAD SERVE assignment focused on shelter.
Securing workforce housing is a major priority for the Savannah community and communities across the country. In Savannah, housing costs have outpaced incomes at a rate of two-to-one over the past 30 years.
Savannah Mayor Van Johnson expressed his thoughts on the initiative.
“I am elated to learn of this initiative which strongly aligns with the goals of the City Council and our Housing Savannah Task Force that there will be affordable housing for Savannahians,” he said. “I am grateful to President Wallace and the SCAD family for this great contribution to our workforce housing inventory and for being a good neighbor.”
Each resident will also be given a parking decal so they can park at a school lot at Barnard and Liberty streets.
SCAD is looking to have a third-party company handle the leasing of the apartments.
The plan is to start leasing the studio apartments in the fall.
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