BVDC Secures Financing for 20-Unit Senior Housing Project

PAWTUCKET, RI – The Blackstone Valley Development Corporation, the real estate development arm of the Arc of Blackstone Valley, has secured financing for a 20-unit senior housing development in Pawtucket.

The $3.8 million project, known as Keats Gardens, will be funded through the U.S. Department of Urban Housing and Development (HUD) and Rhode Island Housing’s HOME Program. Keats Gardens will be located at the former Arc headquarters at 115 Manton Street. Construction is expected to begin in May.

A HUD Section 202 development, Keats Gardens will feature one two-bedroom and 19 one-bedroom homes. The units will be designed so elderly residents can “age in place.” The units can be adapted for any physical challenges that may arise. Features will include grab bars in the bathrooms with roll-in tile showers, wiring for automatic doors (if needed), accessible clearances at all doors and accessible heights of all light switches, counters and cabinets.

Twenty-five percent of the units will be designed for elderly with existing physical challenges such as being confined to a wheelchair or hearing or visually impaired. These units will have additional features including open counter workspaces in the kitchen, lower set cabinets for additional accessibility, accessible sinks, and automatic door openers.

“There are two aspects of elderly housing we are trying to address,” said Jack Padien, CEO of the Arc of Blackstone Valley. “The first is affordability. We need more housing that people with low and fixed incomes can afford. The second is accessibility. The more care we take in designing the property to meet the needs of aging residents, the longer they will be able to live independently. Keats Gardens does both.”

The two-story building will feature several common areas, outdoor gardens and a patio. Common areas will include an entrance lobby with seating for 10 people, a conference room, lounge, activities room and laundry.

Keats Gardens is part of the Arc’s Manton Street Initiative to eventually transform a vacant lot and the Arc’s former headquarters into up to 38 one- and two-bedroom apartments for seniors and the disabled.

Last spring, the Arc transformed the vacant lot into Belmont Commons, a 10-unit development for low-income individuals with disabilities. Primarily funded through the HUD Section 811 Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities Program, that development includes five one-bedroom and five two-bedroom units.

The construction and operation of Keats Gardens will meet HUDs Energy Efficiency and Green Standards. Energy Star for New Homes guidelines will be used during construction and all appliances will be Energy Star Qualified.

Keats Gardens is being designed by architects Saccoccio & Associates, Inc. in Cranston and is being developed by the Blackstone Valley Development Corporation (www.thebvdc.org). The contractor is Stand Corporation, a Rhode Island-based company.

The Arc of Blackstone Valley, created in 1955, is the principle service organization for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the Blackstone Valley area. The agency currently employs approximately 250 individuals and serves close to 300 adults including residents of the Arc’s properties and consumers of its supportive services.

The Arc offers residential and family services as well as advocacy, vocational, housing and recreational programs. These services are provided through more than 25 programs, both residential and day, that operate throughout the organization’s service area.  For more information,

call (401) 727-0150 or visit www.bvcriarc.org.

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