Originally created 06/28/02

Work starts on housing for seniors



AIKEN - Ground was broken Thursday and interest was high for the Aiken Area Council on Aging's new Windham House.

"We are now presently taking applications," Executive Director Scott Murphy said Thursday afternoon.

Windham House is the council's first senior citizens apartment complex.

The four-story building at Barnwell Avenue and Morgan Streetis expected to be completed by March. It will provide 47 one-bedroom units, with subsidized rent based on the income of residents.

To qualify, at least one person in the household must be 62 or older and have a maximum annual income of $17,450 for single occupancy or $19,950 for two people.

The facility was named after former City Administrator Roland H. Windham because of his contributions to the community and advocacy of the council, Mr. Murphy said.

"We think we'll be fully occupied before the building is actually completed," said Mackie Walker, the president of the council's board of directors. "There is a tremendous need."

The residential facility will not provide assisted living or 24-hour staff, said Taylor Davis, president of N&H Enterprises, which will manage it.

"The facility is for seniors who are still able to function independently but just need access to medical services and transportation," Mr. Davis said.

Each apartment will cover 540 square feet and will include a living area, a kitchen and a bath. On the first floor, residents can congregate in a lounge, wash laundry and eat a hot lunch each day.

The groundbreaking marks almost three years of planning for the council. A $3.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development helped make the facility possible.

The property, which was home to Aiken's city pool in the 1960s, was donated to the council by the city and Aiken County, each of which owned a portion, Mr. Murphy said.

For information about residence in the facility, call (800) 632-3066.

Reach Carly Phillips at (803) 648-1395 or carly.phillips@augustachronicle.com.