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The Journal Gazette

Fort Wayne Housing Authority breaks ground on South Side Senior Villas

– After almost three years of work, Fort Wayne Housing Authority officials finally broke ground on the South Side Senior Villas project Tuesday.

Even the groundbreaking was a challenge – because of the cold and snowy weather, the ceremony had to be moved indoors.

But FWHA officials were jubilant anyway, because the event signaled the start of construction for a 16-unit affordable-housing complex for senior citizens.

“This project has seen a lot of turns, a lot of things happen politically and economically,” FWHA Deputy Director George Guy said.

The 16 units at 7240-7260 John St., near Community Harvest Food Bank and Southtown Center, are each one bedroom and will begin leasing in the spring.

Construction on the $1.9 million project is expected to take about 10 months.

Units are reserved for people 62 and older who are at or below 50 percent of the area’s median income, so a single person cannot make more than $20,600. A two-person household income cannot exceed $23,500.

Mayor Tom Henry praised the project, which joins Brooklyn Manor and Brooklyn Pointe, both near Nuttman and Brooklyn avenues, and Whispering Oaks near Tillman and Decatur roads as FWHA senior housing properties to be developed in the past 10 years.

“Once again, we are able to bring to Fort Wayne another housing alternative,” Henry said.

“We’ve got to have affordable housing available for those that need it.”

The building will be constructed to high environmental and energy efficiency standards, officials said.

It’s on a wooded lot, the units will have private entrances with porches, carpet and low-step showers, and the complex is on a Citilink bus route.

FWHA board member Constance Causey, who is also an FWHA resident and a senior, said she doesn’t know where she’d be without the agency’s complexes.

“Because of Fort Wayne Housing Authority, we are able to live in nice, clean, safe housing,” Causey said. “Thank you, thank you, thank you, Housing Authority.”

dstockman@jg.net

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