Ground Breaking For Elderly Housing Project

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WILLIAMSPORT -- It appears the elderly will have more access to apartments. Ground was broken today in Williamsport for a new apartment building.

Officials in Lycoming County say there is a need for affordable housing for people young and old. Today county, state, and city officials came together to announce plans to build apartments with affordable rent, especially for the elderly.

It's an empty lot on Grove Street in Williamsport, but now that ground has been broken officials say in less than a year there will be a new apartment complex at the site.

“We are really excited to build some additional housing for the folks here,” said Mike Fisher from SEDA-COG.

City, state, and county officials announced plans to build a $6.2 million elderly housing apartment complex, paid for with state money and private investment.

It's a way to offer affordable housing to folks who can't keep up with rising rents.

“Marcellus Shale came into the community. We saw rents go from typically $600 to $1200 overnight,” said Fisher.

Officials say there are more than 100 people on a waiting list to get into affordable elderly housing in Williamsport. Once this project is complete, they hope to get some of those people into apartments on Grove Street.

"I think that's a wonderful idea, yep. It helps people like that, that can't afford it," said Clarence Sykes from Williamsport.

Sykes was with friends at a senior center in Loyalsock. He agrees there is a need for more affordable housing.

"Two or three mornings in a row, I seen two ladies with carts sitting on a park bench wrapped in blankets. In other words I thought they had no place to go," said Sykes.

Contractors say there will be 32 apartments available for anyone 62 and older who earn below a certain amount of money. For more information about the housing project you can call SEDA-COG at (570)-524-4491 or visit their website by clicking here.