An Illinois county made a senior assisted-living facility one of its top priorities to address the need for services.

Heritage Woods of Freeport, located in rural Stephenson County, was designed to provide seniors in the area with an affordable alternative to nursing home care, Mark Laubacher says.

Laubacher, president of The Laubacher Co., based in Chicago, says the closest large city is about 35 miles away.

The $13.5 million project was funded with $6.7 million in low-income housing tax credits (LIHTCs) from NDC Corporate Equity Fund and more than $6.65 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The community includes 30 studio apartments and 31 one-bedroom units, all at 60 percent AMI. The remaining 15 units are for LIHTC residents.

The community offers health-care monitor­ing, housekeeping, and medication-reminder and setup services.

“The idea is that people pay their rent, and then what they pay for services depends on income,” Laubacher says.

Individual units are equipped with an emergency-call response system, and the community is staffed 24 hours a day.

“Before, [the seniors] kind of just went on without help,” he says. “People were just kind of living at home dangerously and relying on a neighbor to check in on them once in a while.”