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WHA Hoping to Build New Low-Income Senior Facility

Wilmington Housing Authority
Wilmington's Robert R. Taylor Senior Development

It’s a busy time of year for most, but especially for the Wilmington Housing Authority. Not only is the Authority gearing up to apply for a massive federal grant to revitalize areas of the city surrounding the Hillcrest community, but it’s also angling for competitive state tax credits to enable new construction. These credits, reports WHQR’s Katie O’Reilly, would provide housing for a burgeoning low-income demographic: senior citizens.

The Authority has its eye on twelve to thirteen million dollars—in the form of tax credits they’ll sell to local builders and developers—to break ground on a 90-unit senior housing development in Hillcrest. The facilities and amenities would be similar to those within the Robert R. Taylor public senior homes. Karen Schraml, the Authority’s coordinator of housing economic opportunities, says the Taylor Homes are no longer sufficient to serve Wilmington’s low-income population.

"There are very, very few options for seniors, especially affordable. Seniors are on a limited income budget, and they really can’t afford to go to a lot of places that are quality. It’s very hard to find one-bedroom affordable units. And all of us Baby Boomers are all getting older now, and there’s just very limited options."

Schraml says the development will include libraries, gazebos and recreational space, and that many units will be handicap-accessible. Board members say they’ll staff a senior service coordinator to assist residents with nursing and lifestyle services. They hope to begin construction by June of 2015.