Courtesy Woda Cooper Cos.

In a city woefully short on updated housing, not to mention one of the poorest in the state, Allegany Junction—a 40-unit development in Cumberland, Maryland—was more than needed.

A third of Cumberland residents and half of local renters spend more than 30% of their income on housing, while 1 in 5 spends more than 50% of their income on it. To make matters worse, local housing is also aging and in poor condition. In fact, more than 40% of local rental stock was built over 80 years ago.

Courtesy Woda Cooper Cos.

With the $9.7 million Allegany Junction, Woda Cooper Cos. sought to change that. Though the project had its challenges—including an unexpected change in locations—it ultimately came through, providing new, affordable, and energy-efficient two- and three-bedroom homes for the residents of Cumberland.

“This project is a huge investment in our rural community, taking a former school site that had been razed and creating a much-needed low-income housing complex,” says Cumberland mayor Raymond M. Morriss. “This complex filled an essential void in our city and without doubt has improved the quality of life for those now residing here.”

Residents are more than happy with their experience. The units boast open-concept living spaces, Energy Star appliances, and a wide array of energy- and water-saving features that reduce utility bills. The property also has a fitness center, a craft area, an outdoor play lot, and resident social activities.

“I’m very proud of my apartment,” resident Jennifer Shifflett says. “I feel like I live in a penthouse or luxury suite.”