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The Commons
Life and Work

Valley Cares receives $57,000 grant to expand West River Valley Assisted Living

Originally published in The Commons issue #120 (Wednesday, September 28, 2011).



TOWNSHEND—Valley Cares, the independent community-based nonprofit that staffs and manages West River Valley Senior Housing, announces the award of a $575,000 grant from the Vermont Community Development Program to go toward expanding West River Valley Assisted Living.

Valley Cares and partnering nonprofit, Housing Vermont, plan to co-develop 12 new 1-bedroom units of assisted living by adding onto their award-winning facility in Townshend.

“The first phase of the Valley Cares assisted living facility has demonstrated the success of our partnership,” said Housing Vermont President Nancy Owens. “This funding award recognizes that and will allow us to better meet the needs of the community.”

“We are extremely fortunate to receive this funding,” said Bob Crego, Valley Cares Executive Director. “However there is a long way to go to reach the project’s total budget of $2.85 million.”

Valley Cares is currently applying for additional funding through the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, and Housing Vermont will prepare an application to the Vermont Housing Finance Agency for Low Income Housing Tax Credits later in the year. The nonprofits are also launching a capital campaign this fall to raise private funds.

Valley Cares hopes to complete project financing and obtain all necessary permits later this winter. If all goes according to schedule, seniors may be able to move into the new units by January 2013.

The demand for senior housing with supportive services in the area remains high. As assisted living, the new addition will provide housing, meals and care services for seniors who may need assistance with medication management, dressing, bathing, eating, and other activities of daily living.

According to a 2007 study by the Vermont Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living, nearly 100 units of senior housing with care services need to be built in Windham County over the next four years just to keep pace with the increase in the area’s senior population.

“Since opening, nearly four years ago, we have sustained long wait lists for both our assisted living and independent living apartments,” said Crego.

The Vermont Community Development Program (VCDP) uses federal funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for community development activities which primarily benefit low-to moderate-income people. Eligible program areas for grant applications include: housing, economic development, public facilities and public services.

Only municipalities may apply for VCDP funding. In this case, the town of Townshend applied for the grant on behalf of the senior housing project and will sub-grant the funds to Valley Cares.

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