Westmoreland housing authority to build Hempfield senior apartment complex
Construction could begin this spring on a new 47-unit apartment complex for senior citizens in Hempfield, marking the first new building project for the Westmoreland County Housing Authority in more than five years.
The proposed Odin View Apartments has been in the planning stages since 2013, when the authority opened South Greengate Commons, a 45-unit building on the agency’s 55-acre property in Hempfield. The four-story Odin View project will be built on the same property.
“This is definitely a project to be proud of,” said Michael Washowich, the authority’s executive director. “It’s something we’ve focused on, and we beat down the door to get it done.”
The $13.1 million project cost is being paid for through the sale of tax credits as well as more than $1.2 million in state grants funneled through the county.
Originally, officials said funding was expected to be nearly $10 million from the tax credits furnished by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency. A decrease in the final amount left the authority with a $1 million funding gap. The authority expects to receive an additional $1 million in tax credits, Washowich said.
Construction is likely to start in May.
The authority operates 38 communities with about 1,800 public housing units available to rent. The South Greengate Commons building was the authority’s first new construction project in two decades. All units there are rented, and there is a waiting list of more than 150 people, Washowich said.
And the number of older residents in the county continues to grow.
Some 78,000 — or 22 percent — of the county’s approximately 353,000 residents are age 65 and older, according to the most recent estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau. In 2010, the county had 69,000 residents in that age bracket.
To accommodate the Odin View project, the authority said it will demolish the soon-to-be vacant district judge office building on the property. A new building for the judge’s office, which services a portion of Hempfield, was built by the authority and is set to open Monday. The authority leases the magistrate office building to Westmoreland County.
Rich Cholodofsky is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Rich at 724-830-6293, firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .