This is the second in a series of stories by the Appeal and The Associated Press looking back at 2005 - and at what's ahead for 2006.
By Rhonda Costa-Landers
Appeal Staff Writer
With only one affordable housing project in Carson City prior to Autumn Village - Southgate Apartments on California Street - the addition of the 47-unit complex brought relief to many elderly residents. An application list for the 46 available units had nearly 200 names.
"The length of the list shows a tremendous need for this type of housing in Carson City," said Janice McIntosh, director of the Carson City Senior Citizens Center and one of the forces behind the project. "The beauty of this project is, it's right next door to the senior center."
Of the 46 apartments, all of which have been assigned, 10 have two bedrooms, 36 are one-bedroom and five or six of those units will comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. There will be stairs and an elevator available.
"This is an extremely unique project," said Greg Urrutia, chief financial officer for Community Development, Inc., which is partnering with the senior center in building the project.
Urrutia said 80 percent of the funding for the complex is paid by housing-tax credits and subsidiaries. Other funding is coming from Irwin Union Bank and Citibank.
The land initially was made available through an act of Congress. Sens. Harry Reid, D-Nev., and John Ensign, R-Nev., along with Congressman Jim Gibbons, R-Nev., worked with Bureau of Land Management officials for the property to be signed over to Carson City, with the stipulation the land be used specifically for senior services.
"One of the ladies who will be moving in said she has sold her car because she won't need it living next to the senior center," McIntosh said.
"She won't have to pay auto insurance, gas, the maintenance. It will save her some money.
"The senior center offers many services these seniors living in Autumn Village need. Medicare assistance, Social Security, computer classes, exercise, meals.
"I would just hope in the future as senior centers are built, they would be required to have senior housing available on the project. We are very lucky to have this.
"In the long run, it's a wonderful buy for the community and it makes for a happier and healthier community."
McIntosh said Phase I, which broke ground on March 9, will have heated sidewalks on the north side of the building for safety purposes.
Autumn Village is expected to be completed in February. The Carson City Board of Supervisors recently approved plans for Phase II of Autumn Village, to be built to the south of the existing building.
Phase II will have 42 units and will be managed Somerset Pacific, who is also partnering with CDI and the senior center.
Those interested in applying for units in Phase II of Autumn Village should call 1-866-925-7368.
McIntosh recommends anyone interested should apply.
"Just because the application list is lengthy, doesn't mean they shouldn't apply," she said. "The majority of those applying are eligible."
McIntosh said 85 percent of the applicants of Phase I are from Carson City. The remainder are from Douglas and Lyon counties, Hawthorne, South Lake Tahoe and one from out of state.
"For some seniors, they have no kids or family," McIntosh said. "The services of a senior center are very important. We are so phenomenally lucky to have this set up this way."
n Contact Rhonda Costa-Landers at email@example.com or 881-1223.