Funding sought for senior citizen housing in Butler County
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Funding is being pursued for two projects that would bring affordable housing for senior citizens to the southern end of Butler County.
"There's enormous demand," said Perry O'Malley, director of the Butler County housing authority.
He is seeking funding from the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency for a pair of projects: a 30-unit expansion of the 50-unit Rolling Road Regency Apartments in Cranberry and construction of a new 37-unit complex in Adams, behind the Dairy Queen that fronts the south side of Route 228.
Butler County commissioners have pledged $300,000 for the Cranberry project and $250,000 toward the Adams project. The money would come from Act 137 funds, which are collected from real estate transfer fees and are required by state law to be used for the development of affordable housing.
The projects aren't even off the ground but already there is a waiting list of more than 100 people, said Bill McCarrier, chairman of the county commissioners.
"The cost of inflation has impacted older people. The money just doesn't go as far," he said, commenting on the need for affordable housing options for low- to moderate-income people who want to live in southern Butler County.
The Cranberry complex opened in 2004 and has never had a vacancy for more than a day or two, according to Mr. O'Malley. He has been hoping for more than two years to arrange financing for the $5 million expansion project.
"We keep going for the next round [of tax credits from the housing finance agency]. We're hopeful we'll be successful this time," Mr. O'Malley said. He hopes to hear by May.
Competition for the financing is heated.
Township officials in Cranberry and Adams have written letters of support for the housing, which serves residents who are 55 or older and meet income guidelines.
The housing authority currently operates affordable housing complexes for senior citizens in Zelienople and Evans City, in addition to Cranberry. The sites -- 50 units in Evans City and 75 in Zelienople -- are fully occupied with waiting lists.
Mr. O'Malley said his agency would partner with Pirhl Development of Cleveland, which has secured an option to purchase the 4.5-acre tract for the Adams project. The intent is to build a complex of one- and two-bedroom units. He estimates the project cost at about $6.5 million for what's being called Adams Township Senior Housing.
If the tax credits are issued by the housing finance agency, PNC Bank would be the equity investor, Mr. O'Malley said.
First Published February 16, 2012 5:59 am