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July 27, 2015
Multi-Generational Apartments Supply Piece of Housing Puzzle
           
by Laurren Brown

According to the Pew Research Center, 10,000 Americans celebrated their 65th birthday today,and another 10,000 will celebrate that same milestone every single day through 2030. Much has been written about the anticipated housing challenges as a large segment of our population seeks to transition their living situation, and we've certainly seen a rental housing market cater to seniors looking to live independently. But Americans who want or need to live with their children (or other younger relatives) have very few housing options outside of homeownership. Renters certainly face an uphill battle when trying to find an apartment that is both affordable and appropriate for several generations under one roof.

WSOS Community Action Commission, a Fremont, Ohio non-profit organization, decided to face this challenge head-on as they broke ground on The Commons at Little Bark Creek. WSOS worked closely with Indianapolis-based Herman & Kittle Properties, Inc. to design an apartment community that allows seniors to live with their families, at an affordable price. As an organization providing a wide range of assistance, including home rehab, transportation, senior support, head start programs, job training and more, WSOS has a unique understanding of the needs of their Fremont community.

"We've heard a lot of support and excitement from those who attended pre-development information sessions held in the community," stated Don Corley, Housing Development Coordinator for WSOS. "The aging of our population has an effect on many areas of life, and The Commons at Little Bark Creek is a unique way to solve the housing piece of that puzzle."

When the apartment community opens in the fall of 2016, prospective residents will find 66 apartments in a combination of traditional 1, 2 and 4 bedroom floor plans, as well as the floor plans specially designed for multi-generational families. These apartments will feature separate living spaces for the senior relative, the head of house hold, and possible children, brought together by a communal living room and kitchen. The apartments will be ADA compliant and feature energy-efficient appliances. The community itself will feature a bark park for pets, raised gardens, a wellness center and a playground, among other amenities. It is also situated right next door to WSOS's Stricker Center which operates a top-rated Head Start/Child Care program.

"People at every income level want to make sure their parents and aging relatives are well cared for," stated Jeffrey Kittle, President & CEO of Herman & Kittle Properties, Inc. "I'm proud that we can be part of a solution that will help expand the options for renters and those on a fixed budget."

WSOS was awarded $8.4mm in federal tax credits, to be given over ten (10) years, from the Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA). Riverhills Bank provided both the construction and permanent loans, while Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing served as the equity investor. The Commons at Little Bark Creek has been developed in partnership with Indianapolis-based Herman & Kittle Properties, Inc. (HKP). HKP will serve as general contractor and property manager.

 

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