Checking in with former Gilbert Manor residents - NBC 26, Augusta-Aiken, Here for You

Checking in with former Gilbert Manor residents

By Nbc 26 Staff

AUGUSTA, Ga. - It has been five months since the last residents of Gilbert Manor moved out.

NBC Augusta 26 News checked in on some of the people who relocated to the Lake Olmstead area.

After being born and raised in public housing Jackie Blount wants to make one thing clear.

"I don't want to be in the projects my whole life," Blount said.

The 22 year old grew up in Olmstead Homes. Then she moved to Gilbert Manor five and a half years ago.

"Gilbert Manor was alright but it was just the people that were staying there that made it a little rough for people to survive and live," Blount said.

When the Augusta Housing Authority decided to sell the complex to the Medical College of Georgia the more than 250 families who lived there were moved out. Blount saw it as her chance to make a change.

"I was like ok maybe that's what we need to do. A lot of people need to get a new start on their lives," she said.

For many of the families including Blount that new start began with a move to the newly renovated Olmstead Homes, the complex where Blount was raised.

"Basically everything is better because everything was new when we moved in," she said.

"We have nice apartments it's better than Gilbert Manor," Tonette Jones said.

Like Blount, Jones was tired of life in Gilbert Manor.

"Over there it was a lot of problems over there. People were breaking into cars," Jones said.

She says unlike some of her neighbors she had no reservations about leaving.

"I was glad we were moving," Jones said.

As for Blount, she says moving back into Olmstead Homes has helped her realize that one day she definitely will move out and this time it will be for good.

"I want to be able to get something better like a house," Blount said.

Although many people are happy with the move to Olmstead Homes it has come with a bigger price tag. According to the Augusta Housing Authority about 17 families have faced an increase of about $80 on their rent. That is due to something called flat rent. It is based off of how much it costs the housing authority to maintain the apartments.

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