Warner Robins Making Plans to Upgrade Senior Housing

6:33 PM, Jul 7, 2010   |    comments
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Plans for new senior housing could upgrade some people's living conditions in Warner Robins.

Leaders of the city's Housing Authority and Redevelopment Authority are working to build new apartments for the elderly in an older neighborhood.

Corrine Ivery entertains visitors everyday from the porch of her Memorial Terrace apartment. She's spent 20 of her 93 years living in the housing complex.

Ivery said, "I love it, because it's quiet."

Ivery couldn't be happier with her surroundings, but Executive Director of the Housing Authority Sheryl Frazier sees a problem.

Frazier said, "We have eight buildings out here, no elevators. It wouldn't be cost effective to have an elevator in each one of these buildings."

Frazier says seniors live in only half of the 103 units. Most of the apartments on the second story sit empty, because many seniors can't use the stairs. Frazier says wheel chairs won't fit through the doors and in the bathrooms.

Frazier said, "We believe we can build a facility that will have all the amenities seniors need. Exercise, central heating and air and a neighborhood right in their age group, in a quiet environment."

She is working with the city's Redevelopment Authority to build 60 new units on Orchard Way. That's just off Watson Boulevard, near the intersection with Davis Drive.

RDA Executive Director Gary Lee says the city owns the roughly three acres.

He says Warner Robins' Habitat for Humanity bought nearly a dozen lots from the city in the past few years. The organization began revitalizing the neighborhood by building homes on the lots. City council approved selling another seven lots to Habitat for Humanity Tuesday night, at a cost of about $7,500 each.

Lee said, "It would complete the development of this area were trying to do now. It was formerly old town. If you were here in those days, it was not a good area."

Lee and RDA Chairman Mike Daley say it's a prime location for seniors, about a half mile from the hospital and quiet. Daley said, "Our mission is to be able to develop the city and develop some of the areas that need developing. This is one of those. If you look around, you can see what Habitat for Humanity has been doing. What were trying to do with this senior development is compliment that."

Corrine Ivery says if they build the new housing, it would tempt her to move. She said, "I can't get no place better than this one I'm already in."

She says she's not trying to get up and down the stairs anyway, and doesn't need a whole lot to enjoy her life. Ivery said, "I have the country music on, so I can do the twist!"

The Kemp-Harrison housing, where Ivery lives, was built in the late 1960s.

Mike Daley says they have not worked out a plan to pay for the new units, but plan to apply for federal and state funds.

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