SANTA CLARITA — City officials and social workers broke ground Wednesday for a 64-unit apartment building specifically for local low-income senior citizens.
A demographic analysis done in 1991 showed that there is a substantial need for affordable housing for older residents in the area, said Ben Beckler, director of project development with Southern California Presbyterian Homes, a Glendale-based nonprofit organization that is spearheading the project.
Canterbury Village, as the project is called, will be next to St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, which sold Presbyterian Homes the property. Funding for the project, which will be run by Presbyterian Homes, comes from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development.
City planner Rich Henderson said that Canterbury Village will be more attractive than average HUD projects.
"There will be extra landscaping and garden windows," Henderson said. "There will be a lot of dressing up."
Each unit will be a one-bedroom apartment with a full bathroom and kitchen designed to house either one person or a couple, Beckler said. All units will meet requirements established in the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.
Though there will be no medical personnel at Canterbury Village, Beckler said, there will be a 24-hour Presbyterian Homes staff member.
Henderson said the apartments will house senior citizens who are ambulatory and can take care of themselves, but who cannot afford to pay market rates for rent.
"It is designed for individuals making less than 50% of median income in the area," Beckler said. They will pay 30% of their income for rent.
The project is slated to be completed in 10 months to a year. Presbyterian Homes officials said they will start accepting applications next spring.
Presbyterian Homes has built eight other complexes of affordable housing throughout Los Angeles.