ELMIRA, N.Y. (18 NEWS) - On Tuesday officials from CDS Housing and AIM announced plans for an $11.87 million independent living center on Maple Avenue in the City of Elmira.
"The proposed development will have 50 total apartment units, 40 are set aside for seniors 55 (years of age) and over earning up to 50-60 percent of the area median income," Affordable Housing Manager for CDS Housing Ray Wetherbee said. "Then we also have 10 units set aside for individuals with developmental disabilities."
Officials said they specifically chose the location on the Southside so that residents would be close to doctors, bus lines and other services they may need access to. The center will also have management staff on site.
While it won't completely solve the issue, it will make a dent in the need for affordable housing locally.
"There's really a housing crisis in America today," Wetherbee said. "You know tens of millions of people can't afford to pay the rent, or they're rent burdened which means they spend more than 40 or 50 percent of their income on rent every month."
A similar living center has already been opened in Webster, N.Y. Officials said residents have been getting along well.
"It's worked very well a lot of the seniors seem to partner up and become friendly with the individuals living there, help them out with their day-to-day needs and we even see where some walk around and they're kind of attached at the hip," Wetherbee said.
"They're happy to invite people into their homes," Director of Government and Public Affairs for AIM John Zick said. "They're having fun with neighbors, they're getting out and living integrated and social lives like everybody should be able to."
Property management staff will begin taking applications next spring.
"They'll sit down with each senior and go through their income to make sure that they're qualified to live there," Wetherbee said.
Officials hope to break ground this October and have the center open by October 2018.
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