HUD housing projects advance development of Heritage MarketTwo federally subsidized housing projects planned for the Heritage Greens development gained final approval from the Hudson City Council on Sept. 21.
By: Randy Hanson, Hudson Star-Observer
Two federally subsidized housing projects planned for the Heritage Greens development gained final approval from the Hudson City Council on Sept. 21.
The council gave its blessing to a 15-unit supportive-housing building for adults with serious physical disabilities and a 32-unit elder building for seniors age 62 and older.
Construction is scheduled to start early next spring.
Both buildings will be funded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and designated for people with very low incomes – defined as 50 percent or less of the median for the area.
City officials indicated that the apartment buildings won’t look like low-income housing.
Mayor Dean Knudson called them attractive and said they would fit in well with the rest of the mixed-use neighborhood. He said the three-story elder building will serve as a buffer between Hwy. 35 and residences to the west.
It will have vinyl clapboard and shingle siding, accented by stucco panels and cultured stone, according to a development plan review provided by the city.
The review sheet lists the siding colors as light maple, buckskin and barn red.
The pitched, asphalt-shingle roof will vary from 35 to 46 feet in height, with the north and south ends stepping down to two-story sections of the building.
The building will curve slightly to match the arc of the street it will be located on – Heirloom Avenue.
The two-story, 15-unit building for disabled people will be of a similar design, but two shades of gray and Pacific blue in color.
“I’m really quite excited about this project,” Community Development Director Dennis Darnold told council members. “This is a project for people with disabilities. We don’t have anything like it in the city of Hudson.”
Knudson and Darnold highlighted the fact that the Hudson projects were awarded all of the Section 202 funds for elderly housing and Section 811 funds for supportive housing that HUD allocated for Wisconsin in 2008.
Together, the projects will receive more than $6 million in federal funding, according to Dan Billmark, director of real estate development for Accessible Space Inc., the St. Paul-based nonprofit that applied for the grants and will manage the buildings.
In addition, HUD has committed to providing ongoing rent subsidies and funding for maintenance of the buildings for 40 years.
“They are as good as life-time projects. Upkeep, operation, maintenance are all paid for through the federal programs,” Billmark told the Hudson Plan Commission in August.
The supportive-housing building will be 100 percent wheelchair accessible.
The purpose of the Section 811 program, according to HUD, is to allow people with disabilities to live as independently as possible in the community.
In order to reside in Section 811 housing, the resident or at least one member of the household must have a qualifying disability as diagnosed by a physician.
A HUD Web page names physical or developmental disabilities or chronic mental illness as qualifying conditions.
The elder housing, according to Billmark, is designed to allow seniors to “age in place.” All of the common areas of the apartment building and 20 percent of the units will be wheelchair accessible.
Neither of the buildings will have parking garages, which appeared to be of some concern to Alderperson Pam Brokaw, who represents the city’s Second District in which Heritage Greens is located.
Brokaw inquired about the number of outdoor parking spaces the elder building would have.
Darnold said there would be 32 spaces, one for each of the 32 apartment units. Typically, only 40 to 50 percent of seniors living in Section 202 housing have cars, he said. He added that there will be on-street diagonal parking nearby on Heirloom Avenue for guests of the residents.
The final plans for the apartment buildings were approved on a voice voice with no opposition. Alderperson Scot O’Malley didn’t participate in the discussion or vote because he owns property in Heritage Greens.
For more details about the projects and Royal Credit Union's planned expansion into the district, see page 12A of the Oct. 1 print edition of the Hudson Star-Observer.