Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Shovels in place for senior housing

Hailey rental project set to be completed next spring

Express Staff Writer

Courtesy graphic A ground-breaking ceremony for the River Street Senior Community low-income rental housing complex, above, is set for Thursday, July 14. The 24-unit rental complex will provide housing for tenants ages 55 and older.

The nonprofit ARCH Community Housing Trust and the city of Hailey will celebrate the start of construction of a low-income senior rental housing project in Hailey this week.

A ground-breaking ceremony will take place at 1 p.m. on Thursday, July 14, at 731 North River St. in Hailey, the site of the planned 24-unit River Street Senior Community project.

The rental housing project is scheduled for completion next spring.

"I am so excited I can't even tell you," said ARCH Community Housing Trust Executive Director Michelle D. Griffith. "Let's hope the weather stays with us so we can be on time for a ribbon cutting in 2012."

Griffith said 15 families have applied for one- and two-bedroom units in the two-story complex. One-bedroom apartments will cost from $525 to $595 per month. Two-bedroom apartments will cost from $625 to $695 per month, said Griffith.

In order to qualify for the units, a person or couple must be 55 years or older and earn 60 percent or less of the area median income, a figure computed annually by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

According to HUD statistics for 2011, one tenant at the River Street Senior Community could earn up to $32,760 per year. Two-person households could earn up to $37,440, and still qualify for the housing units.

"We are proud of the public-private partnership that allowed us to move forward with River Street," said Griffith. "The River Street Senior Community would not have been possible without the generosity of the city of Hailey and the developers of Sweetwater (housing development.)"

The city of Hailey took ownership of the property from Sweetwater developer J. Kevin Adams several years ago as part of a negotiated development agreement for his Woodside subdivision.

The city then provided ARCH with a 99-year lease on the property for $1 per year.

The 690- to 900-square-foot units at The River Street Senior Community will be designed to suit the needs and lifestyles of seniors and will include amenities comparable to market-rate developments in the area, Griffith said.

Amenities will include appliances meeting Energy Star standards, in-unit washers and dryers, high-speed Internet, cable and satellite TV, extra storage, private patios, covered assigned parking, and elevators.

Three of the units will be fully handicapped accessible. One unit will be reserved for an on-site manager.

ARCH is working in partnership with New Beginnings Housing, a for-profit developer based in Caldwell. Autumn Gold Senior Services, a nonprofit group, also is working with ARCH to help provide tenants with access to services for the elderly, including rental assistance and medical assistance.

Financing was provided by Idaho Housing Finance Association, which allocated tax credits. The National Equity Fund Inc. bought the tax credits, making the project feasible. Three local family foundations gave grants totaling $12,000 to the project.

For more information, call 726-441.

Tony Evans:

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