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Arc of North Carolina to construct apartment buildings in Salisbury

By Kathy Chaffin
Salisbury Post
Two apartment buildings being constructed in Salisbury by The Arc of North Carolina will allow eight local developmentally disabled residents to live independently.
Jane Jackman, executive director of The Arc of Rowan ó which will be the local operating unit for the apartments ó said the 2,000-square-foot quadplexes (which feature two apartments on the front and two on the back) are being funded by an $800,800 grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
The quadplexes will be built on vacant lots on South Fulton and 15th streets. Groundbreaking is set for June ó “any day now,” she said. “We hope to have them built and occupied by January.
“HUD gives us a timeline, so they’re pretty strict with that.”
The apartments, which Jackman said are expected to be ready for occupancy by April, will consist of one bedroom and bathroom, a living room and kitchen. Architects modified plans used to build quadplexes in the northern part of the state, she said, based on residents’ suggestions for improvement.
The quadplexes will be designed so the front looks like a single home, she said. The South Fulton facility will feature a plank siding exterior so it will blend in with the historic houses while the 15th Street quadplex will have a vinyl siding exterior.
The Arc of North Carolina purchased the two lots in 2005, Jackman said. The 66-by-159-foot lot on South Fulton is located across from the Cut Up & Dye hair salon, while the 82-by-194-foot 15th Street lot is on the second block just past North Main Baptist Church.
“The lots had to be secured prior to the grant application,” she said.
At present, Jackman said there are 156 developmentally disabled residents in Rowan County on a waiting list for housing. Some may be waiting on a placement in the county’s 22 group homes, she said, while others are ready to move into an independent-living situation.
The eight residents in the new apartments will be eligible to receive one-on-one instruction from Community Support workers and case managers.
“It will depend on what they need,” Jackman said. “It will be individualized. Some of these folks will have lived on their own before so they might have minimum support needs, whereas for others, this will be their first venture of living on their own so they might need more intensive support.”
Once the tenants are selected, she said The Arc of Rowan will hold training classes on apartment living. “They will learn everything they need to know to be a good tenant.”
The two quadplexes will be the first apartments for developmentally disabled people in Rowan County, Jackman said. “We’re real excited about this.”
In awarding the grant for development of the Arc independent-living program, HUD also approved a three-year rental subsidy of $76,200 (renewable).
Though the appliances will be provided, she said The Arc of Rowan, an agency of the Rowan County United Way, will be calling on churches, organizations and individuals in the community to help buy or donate furnishings.
Though The Arc of Rowan is taking the names and numbers of developmentally disabled people interested in the apartments, she said the organization is not allowed to take any official applications until after the groundbreaking on the quadplexes.
Many of the developmentally disabled people interested in the apartments now live in assisted-living facilities, she said, because there’s nowhere else for them to live. The quadplexes “would be a more appropriate placement.”
Since its formation in 1954, Jackman said The Arc of Rowan has strived to provide gap services for the county’s developmentally disabled population. “This was a need,” she said, “and we decided to go in that direction.”
Fortunately, she said the N.C. House has included money for future apartment projects in its proposed budget.
“This is just the beginning of this type of housing for people with disabilities in Rowan County,” she said. “We’re looking for more to come.”
Jackman said The Arc of Rowan held a contest to name the two apartment buildings. “We had a good response to it,” she said. “There was a long list of names.”
A student in the Exceptional Children’s program at Carson High School won the contest for the 15th Street facility, she said, with the entry, “Freedom House.”
An entry submitted by Cindy Baubach, a therapist who works in the same building with The Arc of Rowan, was selected for the South Fulton Street quadplex. She submitted the name, “The Shores,” after Hazel Shores, one of the founders of The Arc of Rowan.
Both winners received $100 gift certificates.
For more information on the two quadplexes or to inquire about an application for an apartment, call The Arc of Rowan at 704-637-1521.Contact Kathy Chaffin at 704-797-4249 or kchaffin@salisburypost.com.

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