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Construction begins for Scottdale senior housing project

| Wednesday, March 27, 2013, 11:01 a.m.
Rachel Basinger | For the Daily Courier
Construction crews work on laying cement blocks as construction is under way on the Homes Build Hope senior living apartments on South Broadway in Scottdale.

Construction on the Homes Build Hope senior housing project along South Broadway in Scottdale is well under way and should be completed by fall.

Kristen Zaccaria, executive director for Homes Build Hope, said there was a lot of cleaning and remediation of some old gas tanks on the property that took some time, but they received their Act II liability clearance from the Department of Environmental Protection in November.

“Construction has started and although there have been some hiccups with the weather, all in all we're on schedule for the most part,” she said.

General contractor is Continental Building Systems of Harrisburg.

Zaccaria said construction should be completed by August and apartments rented by September.

People 55 and older who fall in the low-to-moderate income range are eligible.

At a Dec. 3, 2009 public hearing, property owner Scottdale Housing LP asked the borough's zoning hearing board to grant a variance to construct a multi-family dwelling at 210, 226 and 232 S. Broadway, in the C1 commercial zone.

Multi-family dwellings fall under the special-use zone.

Scottdale Housing LP representatives said they plan to raze the existing buildings and construct senior housing at 210 and 226 S. Broadway.

In February 2010, Scottdale's zoning hearing board granted the variance necessary for the senior housing project to proceed.

Project architect Scott Moore said architectural cues for the building were taken from some of the homes farther out on Broadway. He said one goal is to make the historic Loucks House more visible from Broadway, as well as to provide a turning lane behind the new units for truck-delivery access to Brilhart Hardware.

Homes Build Hope administrators had hoped to begin demolition of the buildings there in October 2010.

Once construction is finished, 32 units will be available.

Zaccaria said although 60 people are on the waiting list, they hope to get at least 100 to 120 applicants.

“We haven't begun the process of going through the waiting list to see if all of the applicants qualify or pass our screening criteria, so we are still accepting applications,” she said.

Anyone wanting an application can do so by calling Homes Build Hope in Greensburg at 724-838-0752. The application will be sent; recipients must complete the forms and mail them.

Zaccaria said this is the agency's first venture into senior housing.

“We know most seniors are on a fixed income and younger people have more of an opportunity to increase their income than seniors do,” she said. “We hope to provide those seniors with a nice and safe place to live where they feel comfortable at an affordable rent.”

At some point, the group hopes to offer supportive services, such as computer courses and blood-pressure screenings.

Rachel Basinger is a freelance writer.

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