State awards $719K in tax credits for Harrison senior housing project |
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Brian C. Rittmeyer

A $10 million senior housing project in Harrison is getting financial help from the state.

The development, in the former Highlands School District administration building on 11th Avenue, is among 39 multifamily housing developments getting part of $41.6 million in low-income housing tax credits, Gov. Tom Wolf announced.

The Harrison project is getting $719,000 in tax credits, Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency spokesman Scott Elliott said Friday.

“Tax credits are the best tool we have for funding the construction of affordable rental housing,” Wolf said in a statement. “Tax credits provide the incentive for investment, which, in turn, funds the construction. The end result is more affordable housing options for Pennsylvanians.”

The building, which served as an elementary school before housing the district’s administrative offices, has been empty since the district moved its offices to the high school. The district sold the building in 2014.

Gatesburg Road Development of State College plans to build 30 units for senior citizens age 62 or older. It will be called Riverview Senior Living, using the name of the elementary school that had been there.

The project includes a three-story addition that would double the building’s size.

In addition to age, residents would have to earn no more than 60% of the Allegheny County area median income to live there, said Andrew Haines, Gatesburg Road executive vice president.

Gatesburg will now proceed with buying the property over the next few months, Haines said. The company will sell the tax credits it receives to investors to raise money for the project.

Haines said he expects construction to start in January or February and work to be finished in spring 2021.

“We are very excited about providing senior affordable housing to the community,” he said.

The project is an important one for Harrison, according to township Commissioner Chuck Dizard.

“We’ve been working on this project with the developers and the owners of the school for quite some time,” he said. “The approval from the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency provides a huge shot in the arm for Harrison Township and that neighborhood in particular. It will anchor additional projects and provide much needed housing opportunities for seniors in our area.”

Township commissioners in November approved the building’s use for senior housing.

Dizard said the project’s next step will be to have its land development plan reviewed and approved by the township planning commission.

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