New Housing for Seniors and Disabled

September 21, 2005
An estimated 12 million renters and homeowners pay more than 50 percent of their annual incomes for housing. That is a lot, especially when you are on a fixed income. But Walton Rehabilitation Hospital and the Department of Housing and Urban Development are cutting the cost when it comes to housing for seniors with disabilities.

Katie Ramsey knows what it’s like to live on a fixed income.

“God knows I’m gone tell you it was very hard for me to survive that way,” Ramsey said.

Commissioners and Interim Mayor Willie Mays were on hand to witness the open house of new senior homes. They toured the one-bedroom apartment homes that include full kitchens, nice size bedrooms, and even a blinking light to indicate someone is ringing the doorbell.

“This project was one of only four that was approved in 2002 in the entire state of Georgia,” said Sam Lytle, HUD Project Manager.

HUD is addressing the need with it’s 202 Program providing a $2.9 million grant to Walton Rehabilitation Health System to make affordable housing available to seniors.

“They pay about 30 percent of their adjusted income toward rent,” said Beth Miller, Executive Director of Walton Community Services.

And $200 a month now makes a huge difference in the $620 Katie Ramsey was use to paying at her old apartment.

“I have been to the place where I didn’t hardly have food to eat. It was really hard, I go to the grocery store I couldn’t manage,” Ramsey said.

Housing like this started 10 years ago when Walton Rehab realized the patients that were being discharged after rehab had no place to go that really matched their needs.

“Where we look to restore people to their highest degree of function ability with the goal of networking back to the community and living independently with dignity and fulfillment,” said Dennis Skelly, CEO, Walton Rehabilitation Health System.

And the extra cash Katie Ramsey is saving by renting here will give her an opportunity to take a much-needed vacation.

“I said thank God. I never been no place in 11-12 years, I said I would be ready to go some place,” Ramsey said.

The apartments are on Walton Ridge off of Windsor Spring Road. There are currently eight properties like this that Walton Rehab has partnered with HUD to create. Two more are in the planning stages.