Shavelle Taylor may finally have an affordable apartment thanks to a friend’s mother and her own hustle. Living at her brother’s home with her one-year-old child, Taylor got the lead she needed when her friend’s mother saw construction of Homeport’s Blacklick Crossing — 30 apartments in Reynoldsburg expected to open early 2020.
“She had my best friend contact me,” said Taylor.
Taylor took it from there. On Aug. 21 she rose at 5 a.m., 4.5 hours before the doors were scheduled to open at Eastway Village in Whitehall, where property management company Wallick processed applications for Homeport.
A week later she was on the cusp of landing an apartment, one of 30 lucky families from 126 applicants. Before the intake, almost 500 people expressed interest for the apartments across from Blacklick Woods Metro Park and close to Reynoldsburg High School and Columbus State Community College.
Some of the applicants had camped out overnight at the intake on the hope of qualifying.
Wallick Properties Midwest General Manager Whitney Cooperrider said the application process was an emotional rollercoaster for applicants as well as the Wallick employees reviewing applicants’ paperwork.
“It is so rewarding to know that we were able to make such an impact in people’s lives. However, it was incredibly emotional watching the applicants who were not first in line shed tears because they had missed out on this housing,” Cooperrider said.
“I saw all of the best in my team on our two days of application intake. We were overflowing with care and compassion. I think this reflects so well upon the mission of Homeport and Wallick as we all strive to make our mission statement something that we live every day. We need more [affordable] housing and in order for that to happen there needs to be a larger awareness of the problem.”
Homeport President & CEO Bruce Luecke, who spoke with many of the applicants, agreed.
“The turnout for the units amplifies the need,” Luecke said. “It was helpful to speak with the applicants and understand their situation. Hard working people, including social service employees who are being priced out of their current homes.”
Rents in Blacklick Crossing will vary as low as $296 for a one-bedroom unit, to $991 for a three-bedroom apartment. The apartment community will have four one-bedroom units, 23 two-bedroom units and three three-bedroom units.
(Watch The Columbus Dispatch video, below, on the challenge of finding affordable housing.)