Meeting the Need

A new seniors housing development in Shelburne, Vt., is providing residents with a healthy environment and a wealth of social services to help them age in place. Cathedral Square Corp.’s Wright House, which opened in July, features 36 one-bedroom units for low-income seniors. All of the units receive U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development (USDA-RD) subsidies.

Aging in Place

Residents have access to the Support and Services at Home (SASH) program, which is part of Vermont’s statewide health-care reform initiative. The coordinated program helps residents access health care while living independently and has significantly saved Medicare dollars. A nurse is on site 12 hours a week, and two SASH coordinators help connect residents with services.

Rich Amenities

Amenities for the energy-efficient Wright House include a community room, a lounge, garden beds, a salon, and a fitness room. The property also features a walking path with a pergola and a sensory garden with plants for taste, smell, and touch. “We’re encouraging aging in place, and we want to touch every sense for all,” says Katie Forleo, project manager for the nonprofit developer.

Community Building

Wright House is part of a new, multigenerational smart-growth community in Shelburne. It’s next to Harrington Village, an affordable housing project developed by nonprofits Housing Vermont and Champlain Housing Trust. Four for-sale homes are under construction, as well, through a partnership between Champlain Housing Trust and Green Mountain Habitat for Humanity.

Crucial Funding

The $9.3 million project was financed primarily with low-income housing tax credit equity from Enterprise Community Investment. USDA-RD provided permanent financing, with additional funds from the HOME program, the Vermont HFA, the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board, the Vermont Community Development Program, Efficiency Vermont, and Vermont Gas.