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Westmoreland

Work to start on Hempfield housing complex for low-income seniors

Rich Cholodofsky
| Friday, April 13, 2018, 1:36 p.m.

Construction of a low-income senior housing complex in Hempfield is expected to begin early next year as part of the Westmoreland County Housing Authority's effort to increase its housing stock.

After four years of attempts, the authority last week received funding for the $13 million Oden View Apartments on South Greengate Road.

“This project is truly an example of a public-private partnership that works,” said Dan Wukich, housing authority board chairman.

To pay for the 47-unit complex, the authority will use $10 million in tax credits awarded from the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency. It's the same mechanism utilized to build South Greengate Commons, a 45-unit building for low-income seniors the authority opened in 2013.

The authority also will use a $2 million loan from the county and $1 million from its reserves to pay for the project, according to Executive Director Michael Washowich.

When authority board members approved the project in 2014, its expected cost was $11 million.

Oden View is expected to serve as a companion to the South Greengate Commons complex that was built on the 54-acre property that for decades served as the authority's headquarters. That project was its first new construction in more than two decades.

In 2016, the authority relocated its administrative office to a three-story building across South Greengate Road to accommodate the construction projects. Renovation of new headquarters building cost about $1.6 million.

Construction of the four-story Oden View project is expected to be completed in 2020.

The authority has about 1,800 public housing units throughout the county and an additional 700 homes and apartments for low-income seniors and handicapped residents.

“Our goal is to create more senior housing. It's in dire need,” Washowich said.

To that end, the authority last year bought nearly 17 acres in North Huntingdon near the Norwin Library to build a future housing project. Washowich said the authority has started to look for funding for that project.

Rich Cholodofsky is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-830-6293 or rcholodofsky@tribweb.com.

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