When one local mother heard about a new affordable housing complex being built near downtown Columbus, she could not pay her rental deposit fast enough.

Even though she has a job, Brittanie Stott, of Columbus said she was unable to save up enough money for a permanent residence, leaving her and her son, Damian, essentially homeless.

But then Gateway Apartments began accepting tenant applications, and suddenly Stott had a home for both of them.

“As soon as I got the call that they were open, I said, ‘I’m in,’” she said.

At the apartment complex’s official opening and ribbon cutting ceremony Friday, Stott and her son were honored for being the first tenants in the city’s newest affordable housing option, marking a new era in both affordable housing options for local residents and in the lives of Stott and her son.

“It’s a home, and it’s a roof over our head,” she said to a crowd of about 20 people gathered to celebrate the opening.

The Gateway Apartments complex, located at 10th Street and Cottage Avenue, was created to fill a large need for affordable housing options in the Columbus area, said Mark Lindenlaub, executive director of Thrive Alliance, one of two developers on the Gateway project.

Residents must meet certain requirements to qualify for housing in one of the 60 two- or three-bedroom units, which are already fully booked, Lindenlaub said.

The minimum income requirement calls for all tenants to make at least two times their annual monthly rent, while the maximum requirement is based on the number of individuals living in each unit, said Megan Shelton, property manager.

The complex’s website lists the price of its two-bedroom units as starting at $330 a month, and the price of the three-bedroom units starting at $370 a month.

The apartments were built on the former Golden Casting Foundry site where the company ceased operations in 2003 after filing for bankruptcy. KLM National purchased the property and salvaged material from the site but later bowed out after the city did not grant that company’s request for a recycling center on the property.

The possibility of remediating the property into a location for an affordable housing apartment complex began under the administration of former Mayor Kristen Brown, Lindenlaub said.

The $10 million construction process was funded through tax credits and grants from the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority.

Project developers had to submit tax credit applications three years in a row before being awarded $971,161 in tax credits and $500,000 in state funding in early 2015. The Gateway project was one of only 15 projects to receive tax credit funding and one of 11 to receive additional state funding that year.

Lindenlaub also credited Tim Morgan with Jonesboro Investment Corp. with shepherding the project through to completion.

Lindenlaub and city council president Frank Jerome each praised Morgan for his perseverance and tenacity with regard to the apartment complex, saying without his efforts, lower-income residents like Stott would continue to struggle to find a home for their families.

The apartment complex also marks the beginning of a new legacy for the former Golden Foundry site, Lindenlaub said. While the initial construction of the plant in 1915 marked the beginning of the city’s industrial era, the land’s new use will mark the next step in the city’s efforts to provide for the employees who now work for the second generation of Columbus industry, he said.

When the foundry was still operational, its expansion caused a decline in the number of homes available in the area near 10th and Cottage, Jerome said. But now, Jerome said he is happy to see the construction of Gateway Apartments reversing that trend.

“Now the homes are back,” he said.

But more important than the legacy of the actual land is the legacy of the people who inhabit it, Lindenlaub said. If more local residents like Stott are able to find a home through the prices Gateway offers, then the apartment complex will have served its purpose, he said.

“We are so thankful for it, and I appreciate what you did,” Stott said to the project developers. “And so does my son.”

About the complex

Gateway Apartments offers 60 units of two- or three-bedroom apartments off of 10th Street on Cottage Avenue. The apartments are equipped with energy-efficient heating and cooling systems, patios/decks, a clubhouse that can be used for public or private use, and access to the ColumBUS transit line.

Renter requirements

At Gateway Apartments, each tenant must meet certain income requirements to qualify to live in the subsidized housing apartment complex. The minimum income requirement is two times the amount of the monthly rent, and the maximum requirement is based on the number of people per household:

  • 1 person: maximum income of $28,440
  • 2 people: maximum income of $32,520
  • 3 people: maximum income of $36,600
  • 4 people: maximum income of $49,620
  • 5 people: maximum income of $43,920
  • 6 people: maximum income of $47,160
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Olivia Covington is a reporter for The Republic. She can be reached at ocovington@therepublic.com or 812-379-5712.