Breaking New Ground: Bear Creek Village – Neshronta Tolen

The Georgia Department of Community Affairs believes we all share a common need for shelter. That's why we pride ourselves on laying the foundation for safe and affordable housing. The Housing Tax Credit program makes that goal manifest by offering tax incentives to properties that devote all or part of their units to low-to-moderate income residents. Countless residents, owners, and developers across the state are Breaking New Ground, reinventing themselves in their homes, and seizing the opportunity to begin the next chapter of their lives in safety and comfort in developments such as Bear Creek Village

Bear Creek Village is a community designated for adults 55 and older located in Hampton. Tax credits were allocated in 2019 for this development. Handrails, washer-dryer connections, and walk-in closets are among the special considerations for the residents here.

Neshronta Tolen and her husband, Michael, had been living in Stone Mountain for 10 years but were looking for a change of scenery. Worsening health conditions made their upstairs apartment no longer a feasible living environment, spurring the couple to search for a place that was more conducive for wellness.

“During that time, we had been looking for different places that [were] one-level,” she said. “With that being said, we had put in different applications at different locations.”

Unfortunately, their searches were not panning out. Her husband had a suggestion that made all the difference.

“When he [asked] me, ‘Well, does it have to be Atlanta?’ I was like … no,” she recalled. “He said, ‘Well, they’re building something in Lovejoy.’” When they found Bear Creek Village, she eagerly asked to be put on the waiting list. That was December 2019.

Once the lease to their old apartment was up in July 2020, they were able to move into their new home: A 1-story residence.

“I love the fact that it’s one level [and] that the neighbors are next door,” she said. Instead of being surrounded by other apartments above and below them, she and her husband can go right out of their front door and walk the neighborhood which she describes as safe.

“It’s well-lit. Everybody is friendly,” she exclaims. “And I wanted to be a part of that community – I found that here!”

Although the Tolens were used to the frenetic pace of the city, they have grown to appreciate the peaceful nature of their neighborhood. They like to explore the area and appreciate the lack of traffic.

“When you’ve lived in the city for so long, it’s so congested – you appreciate this,” she said. “I do not want to move. I love it here so far.”