(Times Free Press) - Residents in South Rome, Ga., worked past fear of the unknown, taking a chance that a group of Atlanta-based outsiders called Purpose Built Communities had a model for mixed-income housing that could improve their quality of life.

They were at much the same place five years ago that residents of the Westside community in Chattanooga find themselves today.

Because they said yes to Purpose Built in 2007, South Rome gained a $7 million Etowah Terrace, a 77-unit mixed-income senior development with balconies overlooking the Etowah River. Scheduled to open in June, the development also has a walking trail and a fitness center, and plans are under way for an early learning center where infants will start school at age six months; the center could open in two years, officials said.

Read more about this story from our news partners at the Chattanooga Times Free Press.