April 17, 2012 - Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley and Planning Office for Urban Affairs Celebrate the Opening of Affordable Senior Housing in Billerica*

April 17, 2012                                                    
Contact: Kyle Reilly 
617-443-9933 x9640
[email protected]

Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley and Planning Office for Urban Affairs Celebrate the Opening of Affordable Senior Housing in Billerica

Rose Hill Manor will provide 41 new, affordable housing units for seniors

BILLERICA, MA – Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley, Archbishop of Boston joined the Planning Office for Urban Affairs (POUA), Aaron Gornstein, Massachusetts Undersecretary of Housing & Community Development, representatives from the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, State Representative Marc Lombardo, and Billerica Town Manager John Curran to celebrate the grand opening of Rose Hill Manor, a residential development that will provide affordable housing for seniors in the Town of Billerica.

“I would like to express my gratitude to all of those here today who share a commitment to ensuring that our seniors have access to decent and affordable housing,” said Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley. “The Planning Office, federal and state officials, and the Town of Billerica have created a community that will be truly be a home for the seniors who live there.” 

The development was permitted through Chapter 40B, Massachusetts’ affordable housing law, and sponsored by Saint Theresa of Lisieux Parish. Funding for the development included $5.5 million from the Federal HUD Section 202 program, which is competitively awarded to developers to construct housing for low income seniors, and more than $2.5 million from a variety of state sources and funding from the Town of Billerica. 

“HUD’s senior housing program serves a vital need by making sure low-income seniors have a safe, decent and affordable place to live,” said Barbara Fields, HUD’s Regional Administrator.  “Rose Hill Manor speaks volumes about the coordination and professionalism involved from our partners at the Planning Office of Urban Affairs, the Town of Billerica and the Commonwealth to create an opportunity to allow seniors to live independently but in an environment that provides support activities.”

Rose Hill Manor is located on a 3.2-acre parcel owned by Saint Theresa of Lisieux Parish.  The residential development features 41 units of high quality housing, a community room and dining area, a central lounge with fireplace, a work-out room and other ancillary spaces.  The site is located near a wide-variety of amenities and resources that will support the seniors living in their new homes.

“Rose Hill Manor is an excellent example of the benefits that come from working collaboratively to develop affordable housing for those in need,” said Aaron Gornstein, Massachusetts Undersecretary of Housing & Community Development.  “The Patrick Administration is committed to working with federal and local agencies to create affordable housing options that meet the needs of all Massachusetts residents, including seniors.” 

“It is always an exciting day to see the completion of a housing development that serves our seniors, and to share that excitement with our partners and the community,” said Lisa Alberghini, President of POUA. “As a social justice ministry, we recognize the continued need for housing opportunities for elderly residents living on fixed incomes, and we are committed to working with all of our partners to meet this pressing need.”

According to a recent report by the Wider Opportunities for Women and UMASS/Boston, the elderly in Massachusetts struggle with one of the largest shortfalls between income and costs, with the age group’s median income more than $10,000 short of the estimated costs for basic necessities, such as food and shelter.  In addition, a 2008 study by UMASS Donahue Institute for the Department of Housing and Community Development identified seniors as the group with the largest housing cost burden: fully 53% are paying more than they can afford for their housing.

About the Planning Office for Urban Affairs, Inc. - The Planning Office for Urban Affairs, Inc. is a social justice ministry affiliated with the Archdiocese of Boston. Established in 1969, the Planning Office strives to create vibrant communities through the development of high quality affordable and mixed income housing, where people of modest means can live with dignity and respect in homes they can afford. As a foremost non-profit developer in the Northeast and a leading diocesan housing development ministry for the Catholic Church in America, POUA has developed more than 2,500 units of affordable and mixed- income housing, providing homes for more than 10,000 people in Massachusetts.