Affordable Senior Housing Needed in Northern Michigan - Northern Michigan's News Leader

Affordable Senior Housing Needed in Northern Michigan

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It's taken 11 years but Jim Meredith's vision for East Jordan is coming true.

As mayor of the small town, he knew East Jordan needed more affordable housing for senior citizens.

"We were able to apply for funding to build ten apartments for very low income senior citizens we anticipate the project will be done in march of 2015 and open to the public then," says Jane MacKenzie, executive director of the Northern Homes Community Development Corporation.

In fact, the problem isn't unique to East Jordan, the senior population is growing everywhere in Northern Michigan.

"They need more housing that's more efficient for them, closer to town, a lot of people live in the rural areas and they need to move closer to where there are medical facilities and things like that and closer to senior centers so they can get socialization," says Shirley Gillespie, executive director of the Charlevoix County Commission on Aging.

East Jordan is just the newest to build but plans are in the works for towns like Elk Rapids.

"A lot of people want to age in their place, they want to stay in Elk Rapids, they don't want to just move away for housing," says Victoria Harritt of the Elk Rapids Housing Commission.

The elderly want to stay in their communities and in kind, their communities want to continue to make them feel welcome.

Harritt adds, "We have prided ourselves in having community minded folks that are interested in the young and the old."