"A Go"

Thursday, July 26, 2007

A new 12-unit housing complex for persons with disabilities will be going up in Swatara Township in Dauphin County this year.

Thanks to an almost $1.2 million capital advance grant won under HUD's Section 811, Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities program, a $200,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, and another $200,000 grant from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh the Baldwin Village project is "a go".

It is "very specialized housing," Leo Agresti of the Dauphin County Housing Authority told The Patriot News with "adequate turnaround space for wheelchairs, countertops at levels a wheelchair can go under, cabinets with easy-topspin latches, light switches at the correct height for wheelchairs - and more."

"This is the first fully-accessible housing complex in Central Pennsylvania," observed Lynn Stewart of the Center for Independent Living of Central Pennsylvania which joined with Affordable Housing Associates of Dauphin County (AHADC) and the Tri-County Housing Development Corporation to compete for a HUD Section 811 grant.

Their partnership, adds Chuck Gassert of AHADC, is a major reason why Baldwin Village was one of just three Section 811 grants awarded by HUD in Pennsylvania in 2006. "The collaborative effort between three organizations made for a strong application."

"The stronger the partnerships, the better the foundation for any project," said Acting HUD Regional Director Brenda Laroche, "because that means there is broader community support for that project. Obviously, HUD is looking forward to working with these three organizations in making their dream for accessible housing come true."

The architect for the project is Edward R. Junkin of JWF Architects in Harrisburg. Agresti is hopeful that ground will be broken for the facility this fall.

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