Senior housing project brightens Wilmington community [video]

Some Wilmington seniors now have access to new state of the art housing. It’s called Sacred Heart Village II.

“We’re truly glad that Sacred Heart Village II will bring comfort, hope and security to those seniors,” said Brother Ronald Giannone of the Ministry of Caring organization. The apartments are new to Wilmington’s East Side neighborhood. The first Sacred Heart Village is located just west of downtown.

On Friday, Giannone was surrounded by leaders who supported the $7 million housing project where 26 older residents now live. The building sits at the corner of 10th and N. Spruce Streets.

“It’s also an anchor if you look around in the neighboring streets. It’s really an anchor for the whole community to grow in a positive direction,” said New Castle County Exec., Matt Meyer.

New Castle County, the City of Wilmington, the Delaware State Housing Authority and Longwood Foundation are just a few of the supporters that came together on the project to house low-income seniors.

According to Giannone, the project may be the last of its kind now that HUD and congress have decided not to fund the creation of additional housing through the HUD section 202 program.

“I believe that the creation of HUD section 202 project is a proven solution to free our very low income seniors from the worry of being isolated and neglected in their golden years,” Giannone said to a crowd of neighboring residents who came out to tour the facility.

Senator Tom Carper (D) was among the crowd. He supports such initiatives that create affordable housing. Carper even jokingly replied to Giannone’s concerns about the HUD program that could soon disappear.

“In my church, my pastor always says I know I’m preaching to the choir but even choirs need to be preached to, you are preaching to the choir friend,” said Carper .

The building was dedicated to Julie Cawley and her late husband Charles. The couple was honored for their commitment to affordable housing for seniors.

Residents of Sacred Heart Village II will get a taste of affordable rent. They’ll be charged 30 percent of their gross income to pay rent for apartments usually marketed for more than a $1000 rent. There’s currently a waiting list for seniors who are also interested in living there.

“Coming here today just reminds me that the work we want to do throughout the city ought to be inspired by the aspirations and work of Charlie and Julie and Brother Ronald. If we do that we’re going to be in great shape,” said Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki.

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