(Host) Residents of an aging public housing complex in West Brattleboro will have to find new homes.
As VPR’s Susan Keese reports, the Brattleboro Housing Authority has announced plans to demolish the 70-unit Hayes Court.
(Keese) In place of Hayes Court, the Housing Authority will build a 36-unit complex, designed to help seniors and people with disabilities to live, and age safely at home.
Brattleboro Housing Authority director Christine Hart says the project will also benefit the larger community.
(Hart) "In the case of the new building, it will become a center of supportive services for West Brattleboro. There will be a wellness nurse, we’ll have the Visiting Nurses Association Homemaker and the council on aging working out of there, along with other service providers, depending on what we find is the need in the community."
(Keese) Hart says her board has struggled for years with an increasing need to provide housing and support for lower income seniors and people with disabilities.
The new development will be part of a statewide pilot program called SASH – Support and Services at Home. The program provides a case coordinator, and allows care providers to be reimbursed by Medicare for home-based services.
Hart says the decision to close Hayes Court was a tough one. But the aging complex lacks important safety features, and can’t be renovated to accommodate wheelchairs.
(Hart) "Clearly people are upset about it and are concerned. ‘What is the relocation going to be? Where are they going to go?’ What our message is, we’re going to take care of them. We’re going to work very, very hard to make this relocation as good a transition as it can possibly be."
(Keese) Hart says new homes will be found for all of the current residents of Hayes Court. They won’t start moving out until next spring.
For VPR News, I’m Susan Keese.