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Andrew Maines, executive director of the Welsh Mountain Home (WMH), has long dreamed of affordable senior apartment living in a rural setting. On Sept. 22, under a tent located across the street from the home at 567 Springville Road, New Holland, a large group gathered to witness the groundbreaking for Mountain View Terrace, a 36-unit structure that will offer such living options.
At the ceremony, Maines noted that the project has been four years in the making. He added, however, that he believes the timetable for the project is in God’s hands and that it began with a hope that WMH could extend its mission to serve individuals in northern Lancaster County with more affordable housing. Maines thanked the banks and other organizations that had been involved in the process, along with local and state government officials, including Rep. Gordon Denlinger, Sen. Lloyd Smucker, and Sen. Michael Brubaker. He also thanked the Welsh Mountain Medical Center, which is located adjacent to the building site, for the center’s cooperation with the project.
Maines added that WMH has been providing services for 90 years. “Hopefully, this (new building) will double our occupancy and (allow us to) serve more people in Lancaster County,” he said. “This project is in a rural area where there are not a lot of services,” he remarked. “But at WMH, we provide services right on site, and we feel we can provide (quality) services in a rural setting.”
WMH board member Dwight Groff followed Maines with the invocation, in which he noted that the presence of God has always been a part of the story of WMH.
Larry Zook of Landis Communities, with which WMH is affiliated, recalled visiting his Aunt Mary at WMH as a boy. “Welsh Mountain Home is a special community, and I look forward to the community that lies ahead,” he said. He added that the creation of Landis Communities was inspired by a need for housing for those who could not afford a traditional retirement community. WMH’s affiliation with Landis Communities was important to the creation of Mountain View Terrace.
Applications by area residents who wish to rent units at Mountain View Terrace will be evaluated based on income rather than assets. “Mountain View Terrace will enrich the lives of its residents and their families as well,” said Zook. “(The project is) an example of how creative partnerships can lead to the creation of new things. We are blessed to play a small part in bringing Mountain View Terrace from concept to reality.”
Brian Hudson, executive director of Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, spoke as well, noting, “It’s a pleasure when we can deliver this type of housing in a rural community. Affordable housing should not have to be so difficult (to obtain). We would like to do more projects like this.” He added that he hopes to use Mountain View Terrace as a model of what can be accomplished with federal, state, and local support.
David Brazina of the Lancaster County Housing and Redevelopment Authorities congratulated WMH on the occasion and commended Maines on his persistence throughout the long process of planning and financing.
The final speaker was Mike Carper, president of HDC MidAtlantic. “This will be more than a building,” said Carper. “It will be a special place. This is where people will come to retire and will think, ‘This is my home.’ This will be a transforming project.” (Published in the Penny Saver. Written by Ann Mead Ash)
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