News 12 at 6 o'clock, January 14, 2008
AUGUSTA, Ga.---The first of the Gilbert Manor residents are making a move to Peabody Apartments. Their new home comes complete with a hair salon and a computer center. It's a new place to call home.
Deborah Cummings got her first look at Peabody Apartments today. The complex is now home to her 80 year old mother--but not before passing a little inspection.
The verdict: "We feel good about it, the church people feel good about it, and the family feels good about it," Deborah said. "So she's happy...we're happy."
Today was a day of firsts. Deborah's mother is the first of over 200 Gilbert Manor residents moving out as the neighboring Medical College of Georgia plans to move in. Legislators are keeping a close eye on the process this first day of the Georgia General Assembly.
"We are asking and we are supporting a careful movement of the citizens from Gilbert Manor to other comparable housing opportunities," said Rep. Quincy Murphy.
Jerry Howard with the Housing Authority goes door to door for one on one conferences. The Housing Authority is also bringing in movers at no expense to residents. The total cost will be anywhere from $100,000 to $200,000.
"Home is an important thing, and this has been home for so many of these residents for several years, and we just want to make them comfortable and make sure they're able make the new apartment home," said Howard.
Maria Abraham has lived in Gilbert Manor five years. Moving day for her is Tuesday. "At the end of the day I might cry cause I'm going to miss this neighborhood, because I was almost raised in this neighborhood," she said.
It's a bittersweet time, but Deborah's celebrating. "Movin' on up!" she said.
Peabody is for 55 and older residents. It is one of thirteen options for Gilbert Manor residents to move. You'll recall Housing and Urban Development recently approved a plan to sell Gilbert Manor to MCG for $6.8 million. The college plans to use the property for a new dental and medical school.