Homestead Affordable Housing breaks ground on apartments
Homestead Affordable Housing, Inc. of Holton is one step closer to providing additional affordable housing for local seniors.
On Tuesday, a groundbreaking ceremony was held for Prairie View Senior Residences, a 32-unit senior apartment community near First Street and Pennsylvania Avenue in Holton.
Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins, along with representatives from the Kansas Housing Resources Corporation (KHRC), Central National Bank, LK Architecture, Accel Construction LLC, the city of Holton and Rep. Becky Hutchins (61st District), broke ground on the new apartments.
“The Prairie View Senior Residences combines local, state and federal resources to provide homes that are very affordable with amenities that provide for a high quality of life for our seniors,” said Tom Bishop, Homestead Affordable Housing President and CEO. “The extremely energy efficient design, with concrete safe rooms in each apartment, and community center with exercise equipment, computer center with internet access, library and activity area will help seniors be active and engaged in activities in an affordable community.”
Bishop said construction of the apartments will begin next month and that 20 applications have already been mailed out to residents interested in leasing the apartments. Construction is expected to be completed in early 2016.
The two-bedroom apartment homes are arranged as 10 duplex unit buildings, and three four-plex unit buildings, each unit with porch area and private entrances. Some of the two bedroom units will have single car garages with private patios.
The apartment homes, Bishop said, will be well insulated with quality central heat and air conditioning. The units will have washers and dryers and walk-in closets. The bathrooms will feature grab bars around the shower and toilet area. The kitchen will include a refrigerator, stove and built-in dishwasher.
“I want to thank the city for issuing the bonds and providing the incentives to make this all work,” Bishop said. “It’s a critical part to financing and we appreciate that.”
The Holton Commission passed a resolution to issue housing revenue bonds for the construction of the apartments during its evening meeting Tuesday.
Fred Bentley, director of the KHRC, spoke at a lunch reception for all those involved with the program.
“Providing good housing for older Kansans is important,” Bentley said. “A small place is easier for many to manage and it’s more energy efficient.”
Doug Smith of the Kansas Housing Association then presented Jenkins with a certificate of appreciation for her efforts to support affordable housing and economic development in rural and urban Kansas.
“I just want to celebrate with you all the good work that is being done in Kansas on housing, especially the work that is being completed here in Jackson County,” Jenkins said. “It’s such a tight-knit community, and it’s not surprising to me to see the community supporting such a wonderful project.”
Jenkins shared that she had the opportunity to be a part of a leadership group from Capitol Hill to visit with President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden on pressing issues.
“I just want to tell you that there are a lot of areas where Republicans and Democrats, and Americans alike, can agree on,” Jenkins said. “At the end of the meeting, we had collected a long list of things that we are going to be able to work on. I walked away from that meeting last week very encouraged. Good things are happening, especially when it concerns issues that are important to every community and this nation.”
During the reception, Jenkins also acknowledged members of Holton Boy Scout Troop 64, who built four raised garden bed frames on Monday to be used at the new apartments. The Kansas Volunteer Commission provided the funds for the building materials through a Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service mini-grant, it was reported.
“I want to particularly honor the Boy Scouts today,” Jenkins said. “On this Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a day where we recognize his good work and his life, I think it’s appropriate to share one of his quotes – ‘Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?’ And that question is easily answered when you look to the Holton Boy Scouts and the good work they are doing, as well as Homestead Affordable Housing and this community in general.”