New affordable housing for seniors that offers quality of living and services previously seen only in private communities is set to officially open its doors September 13, as the Somerville Housing Authority (SHA) celebrates the Grand Opening of its new, 95-unit Capen Court active senior development in West Somerville.
Although most residents of the now complete, fully occupied Capen Court moved into sparkling apartments this summer, the SHA’s September Grand Opening date was designed to give residents time to settle in and possibly enjoy cooler weather for the event.
“We are delighted to see Capen Court successfully completed — with all units filled — and to witness our senior residents enjoy their new apartments in a modern development,” said Joe Macaluso, SHA executive director. “Capen represents the first new affordable housing built for seniors in over 30 years, and we are proud to be able to provide our low- and moderate-income senior and disabled residents with homes that allow them to keep their independence, gain access to services as they need them, and stay in Somerville,” Macaluso added.
The Grand Opening ceremony will take place Monday, September 13 at 1 p.m. at Capen Court, One Capen Court, Somerville. Invited guests and speakers include U.S. Representative Michael Capuano, Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone, Tina Brooks – Undersecretary, Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), state and local elected officials, project-funders, housing industry representatives, SHA residents and staff.
The redevelopment of Capen Court represents one of the first examples in which so-called “mixed financing” has been used to create a major overhaul of state public housing. Funding for the $20-million project was obtained through the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), the City of Somerville, and a collaboration of public and private investors including the Bank of America, Massachusetts Housing Partnership, MassDevelopment, Boston Capital and Century Bank.
The expanded Capen Court is built on the site of the old 64-unit SHA Capen development and the grounds of the former Conwell School. The eight-building outmoded original SHA campus was razed two years ago to make way for the new four-story brick development.
The opening of Capen Court also marks the start of the area’s first Continuing Care Community, a partnership between the Somerville Housing Authority and the Visiting Nurse Association of Eastern Massachusetts. The four-story Capen – which offers affordable housing for active seniors with supportive care services as needed — is located next to the 99-unit Visiting Nurse Association Assisted Living Facility. With a distinctive second floor interior walkway linking the two buildings, Capen residents are able to easily access VNA services and dining rooms as they need them.
Capen Court is located at One Capen Court, Somerville, directly off Route 16, across from Dilboy Field.
The SHA can be reached on the web at www.sha-web.org.