Township working with FSA on group homes

FLINT TWP. — A pilot project of the Family Service Agency of Mid- Michigan to build two group homes for senior citizens is supported with contingencies by the township board.

FSA is seeking a federal grant to build multi-family apartments on township properties at 2110 Eberly Road and 2206 Nedra Street. The properties to be acquired through the Genesee County Land Bank have existing structures that would be razed as part of the project, said Charles P. Tommasulo, FSA executive director, who was present at the board meeting.

The HOME Program project is administered by the Genesee County Metropolitan Planning Commission with funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Community Development Cranston- Gonzales National Affordable Housing Act.

FSA is proposing to build approximately a 2,300 square-foot building on each property that would each contain three 484 square-foot apartments, as well as a common day room, hallways, mechanical room and ramp. Each are estimated to cost about $322,000 bringing total estimated project costs to $644,000.

“We are looking to build affordable, accessible houses,’’ Tommasulo said. “Since 1945 our mission is to provide low-cost housing to seniors. This is a pilot project for us. If this goes well, we want to do more scattered site houses.

Our goal is to keep these folks out of nursing homes as long as possible. As you may know, a Medicare bed in a nursing home is $3,500 a month. We can do a lot better than that. That’s what we are about.’’

Each apartment is designed for independent living and would have a 13 by 13-foot bedroom, a kitchenette, bathroom and living room, he said.

FSA’s chosen properties are on the township’s Neighborhood Stabilization Project list to be demolished, said Tracey Tucker, economic enhancement director, noting that this project would save the township demolition expenses and redirect its NSP funds to other uses. Another plus is that FSA is proposing well-cared-for properties that would provide homes for needy seniors.

“All they are asking you to do right now is to say you support a program that will provide these things – independent living for low-income, most of them are elderly,” Tucker said.

“They have to have the local governing body’s resolution of support. You are not approving the project, you are saying you are not against it,’’ she advised the board during its deliberations.

The board’s resolution of support is submitted to the county’s Community Development Program but does not extend to future site plans, zoning or other construction conditions needing to be met if the homes are built.

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