WESTBROOK – The executive director of the city’s housing authority concedes that he probably overpaid for two dilapidated multi-family houses on Main Street 10 years ago.
The purchase, however, is about to pay off.
Along with the houses came adjacent land that stretches back toward the Presumpscot River. It is now the site of a 34-unit affordable housing complex for seniors.
The property at 19 Ash St. will be the site of an open house Friday from 1 to 3 p.m. Residents will begin moving in next week, said John Gallagher, executive director of Westbrook Housing.
Spring Crossing, as it’s called, is the nonprofit organization’s ninth housing complex and sixth dedicated to low-income seniors.
Its location just off Main Street is ideal for less mobile seniors who prefer to be in walking distance of shops and restaurants, he said.
It also helps fulfill the city’s goal of bringing more residents to the area.
City Planner Molly Just called it a perfect example of a high-density downtown housing development.
Gallagher said 17 applicants have pre-qualified and five have been approved to move in. He hopes all the apartments are filled by fall.
To qualify, applicants must be 55 or older and earn less than $30,600 per year, if single, and $34,980 for a couple.
The rent for the 31 one-bedroom apartments ranges from $678 to $814 per month and $815 to $978 for the three two-bedroom units.
The complex doesn’t fall short on high-tech amenities, including free wireless Internet, a fitness room equipped with a Nintendo Wii and laundry machines that take debit cards instead of quarters.
A majority of the apartments have views of the river and more than half are designed to accommodate people in wheelchairs.
Gallagher said 70 percent of Westbrook Housing’s tenants were already residents of or had strong ties to Westbrook. Many used to live in town and decided to come back to be close to family, he said.
Often, he said, it’s not just the low-cost apartment that they need.
“If you move seniors into more of a community setting, they do better,” he said.
Staff Writer Leslie Bridgers can be contacted at: 791-6364 or at [email protected]