NEW: Affordable Housing for Elderly Coming to North Kingstown

Friday, October 28, 2011


Church Community Housing Corp. and Washington County Community Development Corp., along with representatives from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation (RIEDC), the Office of Housing and Community Development/ Housing Resources Commission (HRC), Rhode Island Housing and their partners broke ground today on safe, healthy and affordable homes for elderly residents.

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The former St. Bernard’s Church will be transformed into 20 handicapped-accessible rental homes by May 2012 via a partnership between Washington County Community Development Corp. and Church Community Housing. Restoration and rehabilitation of the former church, which was built in 1874, will result in homes for the elderly and will offer residents services allowing them to remain independent and age at home.

“The partnership between Washington County Community Development Corporation and Church Community Housing Corporation has enabled us to provide a meaningful solution to the lack of affordable homes for low-income elderly residents of our state,” said Gerard O’Halloran, Vice President/Board of Directors, Washington County CDC. “We are grateful to all of our funders and partners who are helping us make this a reality.”

Situated on Tower Hill Road in North Kingstown within a mixed residential and commercial area, Belleville House is located in close proximity to transportation, shopping and recreational areas. Medical offices, including a physical therapy practice, are situated near the site, and the North Kingstown Senior Center is located within a mile.

“Many partners joined together to renovate, restore and rehabilitate a key historic landmark, which will enhance the community and preserve green space. When completed, these new homes will be safe, healthy and affordable and will allow our older citizens to receive services so they can remain independent and age at home,’’ said Richard Godfrey, Executive Director of Rhode Island Housing. “At a time when our state is facing an economic crisis, federal funds are being cut and unemployment remains high, the building of these new rental homes will provide immediate jobs, badly needed construction investment in our communities and good homes for our senior citizens.”

Washington County Community Development Corp. and Church Community Housing Corp., along with many local community partners worked together to enhance the neighborhood by renovating and rehabilitating the historic church and preserved green space in the town. The HUD 202 program, a federal program in which funds are earmarked for homes for the elderly, played a major role in the creation of these rental homes as well as in the development’s phase II plan, which is to be 20 additional rental homes in an ancillary building, formerly the meeting hall and rectory.

“The Division of Elderly Affairs is grateful for the collaboration that will transform the historic St. Bernard's Church into affordable apartments for seniors in North Kingstown, in keeping with DEA's mission of supporting older Rhode Islanders as they age in the community,” said Catherine Taylor, Director of the Division of Elderly Affairs, Department of Human Services. “This is truly community housing, convenient to transportation, shopping, medical attention, recreation, family and friends.”

Other funding sources included HUD’s HOME program, Building Homes Rhode Island (BHRI) housing bond program; the federally funded Community Development Block Grant (CDBG); and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC).

“Through grants from our Renewable Energy Fund, the RIEDC is proud to support the development of affordable housing, like the Belleville House, and help Rhode Island residents, especially the elderly, access quality, supportive places to live. I commend Washington County Community Development Corp. and Church Community Housing Corporation for ensuring that energy efficiency is a key part of this project and for their commitment to helping the state lead the way in renewable energy,” said Keith Stokes, Executive Director of the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation (RIEDC).

Additionally, the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation (RIEDC) provided a grant for the solar hot water system, and solar heating panels are planned for these homes. The new homes will be lead safe and meet green-building standards.

“The Belleville project has successfully leveraged state Building Homes Rhode Island (BHRI) funding with various other sources, creating affordable homes for low-income elderly residents of our state,” said Jeanne Cola, Executive Director, RI LISC/Board Chair, Housing Resources Commission (HRC).

All apartments will be handicapped accessible and available to persons age 62 years or older who qualify with incomes at or below 50 percent AMI. (Currently, the income limits are $26,100 for a single person; $29,800 for a two-person household.) Residents will pay 30 percent of their adjusted monthly income and HUD will provide a Project Rental Assistance Contract (PRAC) for the difference with no additional operating subsidy from any state or municipal sources.

“On behalf of the entire Town Council, we congratulate the developers with this successful project that will provide housing and further economic opportunities for those who will benefit from this low to moderate income, age restricted, housing complex,” said Elizabeth Dolan, Town of North Kingstown Council President. “We welcome the arrival of the new residents, and hope that they agree that North Kingstown is a wonderful place to live and work.”


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