Shortage of Affordable Senior Housing Causing Concern Among Elderly

UPDATED: Tuesday December 24, 2013 7:14 PM

WHITEHALL - A shortage in senior housing leaves some cherishing what they do have this holiday season.

The Christmas spirit is in full swing at Eastway Village on East Broad Street.  Their tree is decorated, the fireplace is lit, and the sweet treats are set out for a holiday delight.  As for the folks who live there, they say they have a little something extra to be thankful for this year.

"The fact that it's a senior building and it's a new building, that really really just ticked my fancy. I really wanted that," said Eastway Village resident, Ruth Waldron.

Ruth Waldron is one of nearly 80 seniors, who call this place home and these people, family.  She says, without it, the holiday spirit wouldn't be nearly as bright.

"It means a lot because other than that, I probably would stay in my room and wouldn't come out. I don't have to stay in my room, I have family in here that I can share my day with," said Waldron.

"And it's an opportunity for each person that lives here to be able to be in here and it's so convenient and everything's marvelous," said resident, Larry Munsey.

Only having to pay 30% of their income for rent, people at Eastway Village said they don't have to make that choice between paying their bills, buying medicine and putting the food on the shelves.

The building is full and the group that runs the facility says there is a wait list for phase two, which is not yet built.

A recent study shows senior housing in the area is at capacity, and the population is only growing.  A population in need of an affordable place to live.

"I would like to spend my last years there," said resident, Marcella Flowers.

The non-profit group, Homeport, which runs Eastway Village, says their second phase of affordable senior housing will break ground in 2014, with the building expected to be open in the following year.

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