Susquehannock Heights prepares to take applications for residency
It’s been even longer since the idea of an affordable living complex for the area’s seniors was first discussed by a previous board of county commissioners and SEDA-COG.
Now, all the planning and preparation is nearing completion as the wooded and grassy space at 813 Linden St. becomes something new.
The open field and woods have been replaced with a large building set back from the street with a large entrance still under construction.
Although much still needs completed, both inside and outside of the three story building, SEDA-COG Assistant Executive Director Mike Fisher said it’s expected to be finished by November.
The Express joined county commissioners on a tour of the complex on Friday.
The building is a shell at this point as crews from T. Ross Brothers Construction, of Milton, continue to install wiring and dry wall before painting can be done, carpeting installed and final touches added.
Once complete, the complex will have three floors with 32 apartments — 28 one-bedroom and four two-bedroom — four of which will be handicap accessible, Fisher said.
The entrance will have two doorways, one that the public can enter with a second that can only be accessed by a keycard.
Fisher noted that visitors will be able to enter a number on a keypad and contact the unit they’d like to visit. Once the resident gets verbal and visual confirmation of who is coming they can buzz them in.
The building will be more than just a place to sleep. Residents will have access to a small gym, a community room, crafting area on the bottom floor and a library on the second floor. Every floor will be accessible by elevator, with a lobby located outside of each, Fisher said.
A “four season” room with multiple windows on three sides will also be located on the second floor.
“It’s going to have heat and air conditioning,” Fisher explained. With the woods located just outside the window, he said it would be a nice place for residents to congregate and maybe even see some deer.
“They’re going to see a lot of wildlife,” he said.
Areas like the library — which will have a bank of computers for use — and the community room are important for the building.
“We have a considerable amount of need for public spaces… which is always a nice thing to have,” Fisher said.
He noted that in their other facilities, many of the residents are struggling to deal with the new social distancing guidelines that prevent them from congregating.
Outside, residents will be able to spend time at the front entrance on rocking chairs or out back just off the community room on a patio area.
This is the 10th facility SEDA-COG has constructed with the goal to provide affordable housing for Pennsylvania’s elderly population.
Prospective residents would have to be approved through the Clinton County Housing Authority and be at least 62 years of age with an annual income of less than 60 percent of the county’s medium income.
Rent would cost $550 for one room and $660 for two rooms.
Fisher said SEDA-COG and the county’s housing authority will do their best to fill the empty rooms as soon as November comes around.
“We’re going to try our best to rent it up,” he said.
Each room is similar, with a kitchen space near the entrance that includes cabinetry and a stove and fridge which flows into a living space, Fisher explained.
Every room will have a walk-in shower and extra storage space too. Handicap accessible rooms will have slightly larger doorways to make it easier for wheelchair bound residents to navigate.
One bedrooms are approximately 660 square feet with the two bedroom locations measuring about 800 square feet.
Rent will cover everything but TV, phone and internet giving residents options on where to go for those services.
“We’re not trying to dictate where they go,” Fisher said. However, he noted he is speaking with providers such as Xfinity to give prospective residents options when they move in.
Fisher said those who are on a waiting list for residency will be contacted beginning Tuesday. On Thursday the housing authority will begin accepting applications from prospective candidates.
Those who are interested in applying for a unit can pick up an application at the Clinton County Housing Authority, 369 Linden Circle, Lock Haven. The authority can be reached by calling 570-748-2954 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once construction is complete Fisher said area fire companies and EMS will get a chance to tour the building and familiarize themselves with the layout. A special knox box will be placed at the entrance for emergency use, he said.
Susquehannock Heights could be just the beginning for the county.
“We’ll start with this 32- unit and see what happens with the wait list,” Fisher said. “If there’s a need for more we’ll look into it. We’ll see how things progress.”