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New affordable senior housing community opens in Zebulon


Shepard Greene is 50-unit affordable senior community in Zebulon, NC.

April 12, 2019, COLUMBUS, OH…A new affordable senior housing community is now open in Zebulon, NC, where housing prices are quickly rising and many moderate and lower income residents, especially seniors, have had difficulty finding affordable solutions. Shepard Greene is a 50-unit apartment community with age-in-place features and energy-efficient apartments for residents aged 55 years and older who are at 60% area median income or less.

Resident Mildred Johnson told audience members at a Grand Opening and Ribbon-cutting hosted by the developer Woda Cooper Companies, Inc. on April 8, 2019, that she’s lost 24 pounds by becoming more active after she and her sister Elizabeth Long moved into the property a few months ago.  “This is a wonderful place to live.  We just love it here,” Johnson said. “On cold days when I can’t get out, I have a long hall way where can walk up and down with my walker and still get my exercise.”

Shepard Greene offers 18 one-bedroom and 32 two-bedroom stylish apartments with bright, open concept living spaces, high quality finishes, fully-equipped kitchens with EnergyStar appliances including dishwashers, closets with washer-dryer hook-ups, and individually controlled heating and air conditioning. All units have emergency alert systems and six units are available with ADA features, such as roll-in showers. Two units are designed for those with hearing/sight impairments. The three-story building has many community amenities including several sitting areas, a large multipurpose room with kitchenette, central laundry, fitness center, computer room, and management office.

“The apartments and amenities are designed to enable senior residents like Mildred and Elizabeth to remain active and independent in their own homes for years to come,” said Denis Blackburne, Woda Cooper’s Senior Vice President.

EnergyStar 2.0 certification standards were incorporated into Shepard Greene which indicates its high level of energy efficiency.  “Residents will pay low monthly utility bills which means more of their household income is available for other daily living expenses,” Blackburne said.

Located at 626 Shepard School Road, Shepard Greene is just a half mile from downtown Zebulon and convenient to shopping, restaurants, cultural activities, medical, and public offices. An onsite manager oversees leasing, property maintenance, and is available to assist residents in accessing transportation, meals-on-wheels, and other senior resources and activities.

Zebulon’s Mayor Robert Matheny thanked Woda Cooper and its partners for, “investing in our community and believing that we are worthy to bring this affordable housing senior community to our town.” 

Shepard Greene was made possible in part through housing tax credits allocated by the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency. Bank of America Merrill Lynch was equity investor for the tax credits and also provided construction financing. A USDA Rural Development 538 loan was facilitated by Bellwether Enterprise.

“Shepard Greene is a perfect example of using our resources to provide housing for those who may not have otherwise had these types of options,” said NC Housing Finance Agency’s Executive Director Scott Farmer.

Other speakers and VIP guests at the Grand Opening were:

  • Sidney Brown (a minister who gave invocation) and other residents
  • North Carolina Representative Darren Jackson
  • Betty Jo Shepheard, Office of US Senator Richard Burr
  • John Householder, Office of US Senator Thom Tillis
  • Nicole Baldon, Senior Vice President, Bank of America Merrill Lynch
  • Cheryl Cooper, Woda Cooper Companies, Inc.

About Woda Cooper Companies, Inc.

Woda Cooper Companies, Inc. and its affiliates are experienced developers, general contractors, and property managers specializing in the design, construction, and management of affordable multi-family apartments, senior communities, and single-family homes. Considered leading experts in the affordable housing industry, the Woda Cooper team is known for producing and maintaining high quality affordable housing. Affordable Housing Finance ranked the firm 13th overall among Developers and 26th overall among Owners in its April/May 2019 issue. Woda Cooper Companies, Inc. has developed and currently manages more than 300 communities and 12,000 units, operating in 15 states. In addition to its Columbus headquarters, the firm has offices in Savannah, Georgia; Indianapolis, Indiana; Shelbyville, Kentucky; Annapolis, Maryland; Mackinaw City, Michigan; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Norfolk, Virginia. For more information, call (614) 396-3200 or visit

Photo courtesy NC Housing Finance Agency.
From left: C. Freddie Persinger (Woda Construction, Inc.); John Householder (Office of US Senator Thom Tillis); Scott Farmer (Executive Director, North Carolina Housing Finance Agency); Betty Jo Shepheard (Office of US Senator Richard Burr); Cheryl Cooper (Woda Cooper Companies); Denis Blackburne (Woda Cooper Companies); Annie Moore (Town of Zebulon Commissioner);  Nicole Baldon (Bank of America Merrill Lynch); Zebulon Mayor Bob Matheny (holding scissors),  Minister Sidney Brown (Resident); Jannett Brown (Resident); Representative Darren Jackson (North Carolina House of Representatives); Denise Nowell (Zebulon Chamber of Commerce); Joe Moore (Town of Zebulon Manager); Mildred Johnson (Resident); Elizabeth Long (Resident, seated); Linda McNeil (Resident); and architect Becky Bascom (TightLines Designs).