Two construction projects in Warren will create more affordable housing for people with disabilities and will make existing senior housing more comfortable.
A more than $1.5 million, 10-unit apartment complex for people with disabilities is nearly complete. Morgandale Commons, 2345 Plaza Ave., is expected to be completed in December.
The $5 million renovation of the 60-unit Warner House, 182 High St., is expected to begin in November.
Tribune Chronicle photos / Raymond L. Smith
Donald Emerson, executive director of the Trumbull County Metropolitan Housing Authority, stands in front of a new project Wednesday that will provide specially designed housing for disabled residents.
Morgandale Commons "will be a Christmas present for the community," Donald Emerson, executive director of the Trumbull County Metropolitan Housing Authority, said. "It should be open shortly after the beginning of the year."
Emerson described the complex as a first-of-its-kind apartment unit in Trumbull County, specifically designed for low-income residents with a variety of disabilities.
"When we applied for the HUD 811 grant for this project, we were the only one in the area," Emerson said.
The project will focus on residents challenged with the effects of chronic mental illnesses. Its one-story design takes into consideration persons with visual and hearing impairments and to accommodate persons with wheelchairs.
In addition to each apartment having its own full kitchen with range, sink and cabinet space, there also will be a community kitchenette, allowing residents to participate in a variety of social, educational and recreational activities.
HUD provided $1,227,800 for the project and $300,000 was provided through Warren Community Development.
"Those interested in the housing should call Trumbull Metropolitan Housing Authority," Emerson said. "Applicants must meet income requirements and they must be able to prove their disability."
Its construction is being sponsored by Trumbull Housing Development Corp. and Paragon Residential Solutions, which is a community housing development corporation of TMHA.
"The idea is to provide housing specifically for disabled persons who may be having problems in their own homes or apartments, living with family and those living in public housing, but their special needs are not being addressed."
Emerson said the housing authority is developing spaces that will be a better fit for its community of clients.
The Warner house is beginning an $11 million renovation of the 60-unit senior apartment complex next month. Construction alone is expected to cost $5 million. The remainder of the cost comes from U.S. Bank absorbing some of its existing debt and other costs associated with the sale of the building.
"An all-new heating system, new windows, new baths and kitchens and the apartments are being repainted," Victor Rodriguez of A.M. Rodriguez Associates Inc. said. "We are increasing the number of common areas and fixing up the exterior of the building."
Warner House originally was built in the 1920s. It was last renovated in the 1980s.
By the time the project is complete, the complex will be changed from having 10 efficiency and 50 one bedroom apartments to four efficiency and 56 one bedroom apartments.
U.S. Bank, which is financing the project, will receive tax credits through the Ohio Housing Finance Agency, and will become its majority owner.
A.M. Rodriguez, a family-owned company, has owned the building for more than 30 years. The Pittsburgh-based company owns and manages three other properties in Ohio and manages several others. The majority of its properties are located in Pennsylvania.
"The way the financing is structured we cannot be the owner of the property, but we will continue to manage it," Rodriguez said.
"Work is expected to begin in November and will take approximately a year to complete," he continued.
As the project proceeds, some residents temporarily will be moved into Trumbull Metropolitan Housing units. Once the work is completed, the tenants will be moved back into their apartments.
Testa Builders of Akron is the construction manager of the project.