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LHP development staff joined Highlands Residential Services (HRS) yesterday at a joint ribbon-cutting and groundbreaking to celebrate the completion of the new Oak Tree Towers apartment community for senior citizens and the start of construction of Hickory Valley, an affordable housing community for families.

HRS is the public housing authority for Putnam County. LHP is one of the development partners for the authority’s strategic plan to ultimately replace or modernize its entire portfolio of affordable housing.

LHP’s Alvin Nancy, Lara Lundy, Carey Parker, Tallal Shakarchi and David McAndrews.

At the event, Dow Harris, Executive Director, HRS, said, the developments will enhance the lives of Cookeville residents and the entire community.

“Together, these two developments provide 98 high-quality, modern apartment homes for seniors and families,” Harris said. “This is how we are building a welcoming and inviting community that residents are proud to call home.”

HRS Executive Director Dow Harris

Dr. Robert Owens, HRS Board Chair, shared comments from residents that live at Oak Tree Towers. He said their feedback brought tears to his eyes and shows the importance of affordable housing.

HRS Board Chair Robert Owens

From OTT resident Karen Owens: “I am so privileged. I have never in my 66 years been able to live anywhere where everything is brand new. I have no complaints. I absolutely love it!”

From OTT resident Ann Anderson: “If heaven is anything like my apartment, I’m ready. It is so peaceful and quiet. I am so grateful. I love it.”

HRS, LHP Capital and A&H Development Partners worked closely with the Tennessee Housing Development Authority (THDA) and the U.S. Urban and Housing Development (HUD) to finance the developments with mix of private and public funds. As part of the requirements of the financing, both apartment communities must remain affordable for 30 years.

THDA Executive Director Ralph Perrey said, “Affordable housing of all types, whether for working families or senior citizens, is important for cities like Cookeville to continue to thrive and grow.”

Additional speakers at the event included City of Cookeville Mayor Ricky Shelton and  Putnam County Mayor Randy Porter. Following the ceremony, officials and guests were invited to the community room of Oak Tree Towers for lunch and an open house. For more information on HRS, Oak Tree Towers and Hickory Valley, visit

The theme for the joint groundbreaking and ribbon cutting was Building on Community. Additional photos of the event:

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