Apartment Upgrades Boost Morale on Johns Island

By Patrice Smith

The Johns Island Rural Housing Development has a new look. Another phase of extensive repairs, recently completed, renovated the complex’s interior and exterior units.

“We replaced roofs, siding, windows and doors. We also hired a professional building contractor and landscaper.” says Tumiko Rucker, the CEO at Sea Island Comprehensive Health Care Corporation that owns the facility on Maybank Highway.

“We completed erosion control, planted new trees and shrubs and removed several large trees that contributed to roof and sidewalk damage.”
Rucker says funding from the City of Charleston CDBG grants allowed for infrastructure upgrades that repaired sidewalks, curbing and drainage throughout the property. SICHCC received a Palmetto Pride grant to acquire ornamental trees.

The units received complete make-overs that added new walls, ceramic tile and upgraded electrical and plumbing systems.

“Some apartments got new cabinets and appliances as well. We replaced all the heating and air units with new energy efficient ones.” Rucker said.

Charleston County’s weatherization program installed carbon monoxide and additional smoke detectors.

“As a result of all the renovations we had a successful inspection, increasing our score beyond the two years prior by 5 points.” Rucker adds.

“Our partners include the City of Charleston, Charleston County, Brown Construction, Twin Oak Landscaping, Williams Carpet, Lowes, Sherwin Williams Paint, and Palmetto Pride.”

Rucker also credits Wells Fargo the facility’s mortgage holder for additional funding that will complete 100% renovation on the property.

“I am so pleased that after 40 years we can continue to provide quality affordable housing for the elderly and disabled of the Sea Island. Morale is better. The residents, some who have lived here for over 20 year, are proud of the way their home now looks.” Rucker says.

A longtime resident of the Rural Housing Development recently placed first in the state in the elderly category at the Southeastern Affordable Housing Management Association in Columbia.

“Ms. Washington won the Drug Free Poster Art contest and her poster will be included in the 2016 SAHMA calendar.” Rucker says.

The 88 unit Housing development, located on Maybank Highway provides safe, low income housing for persons 62 or older and persons with disabilities. Rucker says a lot of folks want to live in the rent assisted apartments that are a smoke free property and a partner with the City of Charleston Police Department Crime Watch.

“We have a waiting list of 70 wanting to get in.”

Rucker says Sea Island is exploring the possibility of building more rent assisted units in Hollywood, South Carolina.

“Because we have such a long waiting list here and there is such a great need for more affordable housing, we are looking at that area.”

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