2014-10-17 / Community

Construction begins on new senior residence


Members of the Boards of South Portland Housing Authority and Portland Housing Development Corporation break ground on Ridgeland Gardens, a new building for residents 55 and older (Courtesy photo) Members of the Boards of South Portland Housing Authority and Portland Housing Development Corporation break ground on Ridgeland Gardens, a new building for residents 55 and older (Courtesy photo) The South Portland Housing Authority (SPHA) held the groundbreaking ceremony for their new 44-unit residential housing building for residents 55 or older, Ridgeland Gardens, on Wednesday, Oct. 8.

“This is a long-awaited, momentous occasion not only for South Portland Housing Authority, but for South Portland residents,” stated Chairman Kevin Glynn. “Affordable housing is desperately needed for our aging population,” he added.

“I believe that housing is an important part of our overall infrastructure. With these 44 units the South Portland Housing Authority has shown its commitment to the needs of the citizens of this community. I hope in the future we will be able to do even more,” said South Portland Mayor Jerry Jalbert. “ The size of the waiting list for public housing is greater than the number of units already built in South Portland. We need to address this issue for our elderly.”

The new building was designed by David Lloyd, a principal at Archetype in Portland, and financed by MaineHousing and TD Bank. Located on Ridgeland Avenue near Cash Corner, the building is convenient to Route 1, Broadway, and I-295.

“This building really capitalizes on the success of our building next door, Ridgeland

Estates, which has 80 units. This is a great neighborhood for our elderly to live in, convenient to highways and bus line,” Executive Director Michael Hulsey added.

The South Portland Housing Authority currently owns and manages 346 units in South Portland designated for elderly, disabled, handicapped, or families, and administers 389 Section 8 vouchers that subsidize market rents to private landlords. The SPHA manages an additional 172 affordable housing units for elderly, disabled, and handicapped in South Portland. For many units, residents pay a maximum of 30 percent of their income for rent. The Betsy Ross House, managed by the Housing Authority, provides 123 units for ages 62 and up, with both subsidized and market rent units.

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