Thursday, March 25, 2004

Senior housing planned

Agency sees Loveland as prime area for subsidized living

By Sheila McLaughlin
The Cincinnati Enquirer

LOVELAND - An agency that helps the elderly is searching for property here to build a housing complex for low-income seniors.

Larry Sargeant, executive director of Warren County Community Services, said the area is ripe for the project.

A survey six years ago showed that more than 400 eligible seniors lived within a five-mile radius of Loveland, which has no subsidized complexes for the elderly.

"I suspect the need is even stronger today, " Sargeant said.

"As people grow older, they like to stay in the community in which they lived. Often they don't have the physical ability and financial ability to maintain larger homes that they currently live in. This is very affordable, very safe."

The proposed complex would be similar to the two-story Station Hill development on Dave Street in Lebanon and include 40 one-bedroom apartments with a community room, activity area and on-site laundry. Services such as cleaning, meals and transportation are offered to allow residents to maintain independence.

The challenge in Loveland, Sargeant said, will be to find the right site. A real estate agent is looking for land.

Council voted unanimously Tuesday to explore the idea.

"There is not a specific project in mind. There is not a specific site. But, if they come forward with a good site, we will do what we can to help them," Assistant City Manager Tom Carroll said.

Under federal guidelines, eligible residents must be at least 62 years old. Maximum annual income for a single resident is $22,500 and for two residents, $25,700.

Because Loveland sits in Hamilton, Clermont and Warren counties, Sargeant said the development could be in any of those.

A complex in Loveland would be the agency's 10th development. The latest - a $4 million, federally funded project called Berry Wood in Deerfield Township - is under construction. The 48-unit building is expected to open next spring on 3 acres near Columbia Road and U.S. 22/Ohio 3.


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