(Update: Adding videos, comments from tenants, Housing Works official)
Project includes 47 apartments dedicated to affordable senior housing, more units in the works
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ)-- Kimberly Scott is a new tenant of Legacy Landing in northeast Bend, who said Wednesday she’s beyond grateful for having a home to move into.
It's a new affordable housing community that celebrated its grand opening on Wednesday afternoon. The community serves households with residents aged 55 and up. The also have a preference for senior veterans referred to them by the Veteran's Affairs.
“Oh I cried, I’m so happy, I’m so relieved! To finally be independent, on my own two feet is just a dream come true," she exclaimed.
She had been searching for a home for the past two years.
"I’ve been homeless and just thanks to generosity of some family members, I've had a roof over my head," she said.
She’ll be getting the keys to her new home next Monday.
The complex at 2065 NE Tucson Way consists of 47 apartments dedicated to housing low-income seniors on three residential floors above a ground-floor health center, owned and operated by Mosaic Medical, a nonprofit organization serving individuals and families throughout Central Oregon, regardless of income or insurance status.
"By integrating Mosaic’s health services on-site and providing a link to their proactive, team-based approach to coordinated care, we can greatly improve the health of the residents and the surrounding community," Housing Works Executive Director David Brandt said.
Ian Ablitt is another tenant who said he's humbled to have found an apartment with them. He had been looking since January and said the search was discouraging. He had to figure out a way to live based on his Social Security income and could only find rooms for rent. He recently lived in one in Redmond.
But things slowly fell into his favor.
Wednesday night was his first night in the new apartment.
Furnish Hope, a nonprofit organization, provided him with a dining room table, living room set, a couch, dresser, blankets, and throws to help his transition.
In-between thoughtful pauses and tears of joy, he expressed to NewsChannel 21 that he was overcome with gratitude. He added that he was number 13 on the waiting list when he applied in July.
Brandt said Housing Works is in the next step of developing around 100 units of affordable housing in the neighboring lots.
"It's a drop in the bucket," he said. "I mean, we realize that we're having a real hard time building our way out of this housing crisis, and we're going to do our best to bring units on as fast as we can.”