Member News

Community Homes takes its show on the road
Lebanon, PA
03/11/2020 08:55 AM
Community Homes of Lebanon Valley celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2018. During and since that time, they have constructed six apartment buildings that house senior and disabled residents. That is good news for the residents.

The bad news? The painfully long waiting list for qualified seniors and disabled persons to get an apartment of their own is a problem not to be ignored. The people who helped us grow up need our help, in the form of more affordable housing. Housing rental rates in the United States have increased over the last 29 years. More specifically, rents have increased for 29 consecutive quarters, an equivalent of 7 ¼ years.

Vacancy rates are at a 30-year low. The residents of the future need a turnaround, and soon. This is an important goal of Community Homes and its Board of Directors. And progress is being made.

A new duplex for disabled residents on Maple Street in Lebanon. The design, called Proof of Concept, is a model for future development.  It will be followed for the next, larger, development, a proposed 23-unit development of one-story cottages on a 2.38-acre site in North Lebanon Township, Pa. The cottages would be a mixture of one-bedroom and two-bedroom dwellings; and would also be accessible for individuals with physical disabilities.

“Our name for this style of development is “Pocket Neighborhood”. The units face each other. There are outdoor benches on the property that encourage social interaction. It’s a concept with a lot of potential,” says Charlie Rush.
There is a plan in place to accomplish this, and it includes application for funding from the Federal Home Loan Bank. It also includes raising funds to cover the shortfall.

In order to accomplish the fundraising goals, Community Homes CEO and members of the Board are in process of meeting with prospective donors in various locations. “It’s a true grassroots fundraising campaign”, CEO Charlie Rush says, “we are meeting and educating the public as to ways they can do their part to help close the gap between supply and demand for affordable housing for these special people.

A recent event was held at the Calvary Chapel in Lebanon. The presentation was handled by Pastor Thom Keller and Community Homes CEO Charlie Rush, followed by a Q&A session. Keller also serves on the Board of Directors of Community Homes.

“The presentation went very well,” notes Thom Keller,” Our parishioners are a caring group of people and want to do their part to create a better life for our senior and disabled population. We are encouraged by this.”

“I look forward to meeting many citizens in the near future who share our concerns and are willing to help this important cause.”
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