HDC MidAtlantic preserves 208 affordable homes

HDC MidAtlantic recently closed a multi-property redevelopment to rehabilitate and preserve 208 affordable homes.

“Affordable housing preservation is priority for HDC MidAtlantic. This redevelopment will ensure over 200 households will continue to have a safe, decent affordable place to call home,” said HDC MidAtlantic President & CEO Dana Hanchin. “In a rental market this tight, where wages continue to be stagnant, communities must take steps to preserve every affordable unit to meet the needs of their residents.”

The Apartments at Mulberry Corners

The redevelopment project is comprised of four affordable housing communities:

  • Springwood Glen Apartments, Family Property, Middletown, Dauphin County, 58 apartments
  • The Apartments at Mulberry Corners, Senior Property, Lancaster, Lancaster County, 25 apartments
  • Rockford Chase Apartments, Family Property, Mountville, Lancaster County, 60 apartments
  • Wyndamere Apartments, Family Property, York, York County, 65 apartments

While the specific scope of work varies among properties, rehab efforts will focus heavily on interior upgrades and energy efficiency enhancements. Residents will see new doors, windows and hardware, new cabinetry and appliances such as electric ranges and refrigerators, new flooring and paint, and upgraded, energy efficient HVAC, electrical and plumbing systems inside their homes and in community spaces.

Apartments designated for individuals with disabilities will be updated to current ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) standards and include the installation of new bathroom grab bars and roll-in showers with floor drains, accessible countertops and shelving, as well as new flooring.

Residents will also see upgraded safety features like new and improved lighting, motion sensors, property cameras, as well as installation of new smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

Springwood Glen Apartments

On the exteriors, properties will get new roofing, gutters and downspouts installed, repair or replacement of decking materials and railings, and new paint to exterior metal railings. Sidewalks, as well as dumpster pads and surrounds, will be repaired or replaced. Select parking lots will see new ADA van accessible stripping. New lighting and property signage will be installed, and tot lots will see new vinyl surrounds and mulching.

Total cost of property acquisition and renovation is just over $21.6 million. Primary sources of funding include 4% Low Income Housing Tax Credits awarded by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) plus tax-exempt bonds. The equity investor is Cinnaire. Fulton Bank purchased the multi-family tax-exempt bonds issued by the Lancaster County Redevelopment Authority. Additional sources of financing include $600,000 in new CDBG and $950,000 in assumed funds from the Lancaster County Redevelopment Authority, $150,000 in new CDBG funds and $1,074,088 in assumed funds from the York County Planning Commission, $217,575 in assumed funds from the City of Lancaster, and $1,413,750 in recast PennHomes funds from PHFA.

Stevens & Lee and Nikolaus & Hohenadel, LLP, provided legal counsel. Architectural Concepts, P.C., was selected as the architect. Benchmark Construction was selected as the general contractor. Construction began July 30, 2018. HDC MidAtlantic anticipates renovations will take approximately six months.

Step On It!

The Residents of Saint Peter Apartments in Columbia, Pa., have been traveling across the country this summer without even leaving town.

Several seniors living at the property participated in Step On It!, an initiative of Kindred at Home, a provider of home health care services.

Step On It! supplies pedometers to older adults and seniors to encourage and increase physical activity. The pedometers track each resident’s steps, which were then logged and tracked by HDC MidAtlantic Resident Services Coordinator Dora Brown each week.

Residents at Saint Peter Apartments gather to celebrate the success of Step On It!

In a fun twist to encourage participation, residents decided to “walk” to different places around the country by combining their weekly steps.

During regular check-ins, Brown shared information about the group’s weekly destination including facts on the area’s landmarks, history, food and culture. Brown said she believed the destinations pique the resident’s curiosity and they looked forward to choosing the next place to visit.

In the first leg of their journey, residents started at Saint Peter Apartments, then walked to Clipper Magazine Stadium in Lancaster, then to Assateague Lighthouse in Chincoteague, Va., then to The Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kill Devil Hills, NC, and finally to Mercer House in Savannah, Ga.

While the trek is over 2 million steps, the group went above and beyond by walking nearly 3 million combined steps. They celebrated this major milestone with a party featuring culinary delights inspired by the destinations they “visited” on their way to Savannah.

Health and wellness is among five key focus areas HDC MidAtlantic’s Resident Services prioritizes. Resident Services Coordinators like Brown look for innovative ways to engage residents and encourage participation in wellness activities.

Staying active is especially important as we age to stay healthy and prevent against chronic conditions like obesity, diabetes or cardiovascular disease. Brown said several residents participating in Step On It! shared that they’d lost weight since starting the program or saw improvements in conditions they’re managing like diabetes.

Step On It! has contributed to participants emotional health, too. Residents connect over a common interest and build stronger relationships with each other, all while indulging in some friendly and healthy competition.

Brown plans to continue the program as long as the residents are active and participating. They are currently “on their way” to St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans, La.