116 Pikesville apartments for elderly funded

March 03, 1992|By Patrick Ercolano | Patrick Ercolano,Staff Writer

The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore has lined up more than $8 million to build a housing complex in Pikesville for the low- and moderate-income elderly, the organization announced yesterday.

Most of the funding for the 116-apartment Weinberg House will come from a $7 million grant approved Friday by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Baltimore County will contribute $525,000 in federal community development block grant funds. The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, a private philanthropic organization, will donate $500,000 for the project.

Comprehensive Housing Assistance Inc., the housing arm of the the federation, is to oversee the development of Weinberg House, which is scheduled for occupancy by 1995.

The Baltimore architectural firm of Cochran, Stephenson and Donkervoet was hired by CHAI to design the complex. A construction firm has not yet been selected, said CHAI executive director Kenneth Gelula.

The seven-story, 92,990-square-foot housing complex will be built on a 1.3-acre site at the intersection of the new Towne Centre Place Road and Old Court Road, a block east of the 1400 block of Reisterstown Road. Federation officials said the location will offer residents easy access to shops, public transportation, a public library, a senior center and other services in downtown Pikesville.

The building is to have 19 one-bedroom, 540-square-foot apartments on each floor, except for the first floor, which will have four apartments, administrative offices and community rooms.

The Baltimore County Review Group approved the project last month. However, the federation will seek a zoning variance for Weinberg House's 45 parking spaces. As planned, the spaces would not conform to current county requirements.

Federation spokeswoman Elana Kuperstein said that, according to HUD regulations, applications for the apartments cannot be accepted until construction is nearly complete, expected to be sometime in 1994.

Ms. Kuperstein said the project will help fill a growing need for housing for the elderly in the Pikesville area. About 100,000 Baltimore County residents are 65 or older, she said -- 50 percent more than 10 years ago.

Ms. Kuperstein added that 25 percent of the Jewish population in greater Baltimore is 65 or older.

And CHAI president Cass Gottlieb said studies show that at least 1,100 households headed by seniors in greater Baltimore's Jewish community cannot afford to rent an apartment at average market rates.

To qualify for an apartment at Weinberg House, applicants will have to meet federal guidelines for having low- to moderate incomes and will have to pay rent equal to 30 percent of income, Mr. Gelula said.

Rent payments are expected to cover all of the building's operating costs, he said; any costs that exceed the amount collected in rents will be covered by an additional "operating subsidy" grant from HUD.

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