County mulls plan to build new lodging for homeless

July 13, 1993|By Kerry O'Rourke | Kerry O'Rourke,Staff Writer

Families who find themselves temporarily homeless in Carroll County may move into new homes on Kriders Church Road if the state and county decide building them is affordable.

The county had planned to move five houses from the 800 block of Littlestown Pike to 5 acres on Kriders Church Road and build two new ones there to establish a transitional housing project with 15 apartments.

Erecting new buildings instead may allow room for 20 apartments and would eliminate the possibility of structural problems that might result from moving the five houses, said Jolene G. Sullivan, director of the county's Department of Citizen Services.

"Hopefully, we're able to pull it off. We're moving very slowly," she said.

Yesterday, she and four other county employees toured sites in Anne Arundel and Prince George's counties to see townhouses and other homes that may be suitable to build at the Kriders Church Road site, Mrs. Sullivan said.

Transitional housing provides lodging for up to two years so families who have exhausted their stay at homeless shelters or are in danger of being evicted can attempt to become self-sufficient.

In March, Carroll received a $674,000 grant from the state Department of Housing and Community Development for the project. James Ryan Jr. of Rylea Homes Inc. in Westminster donated the 5 acres to the county last summer.

The county bought the five houses on Littlestown Pike because they are in near the flight path for the new runway at the Carroll County Regional Airport.

Sue Gregson, a spokeswoman for the state housing department, said officials in her department are studying the idea of building new homes instead.

She characterized the idea as "informal" and said officials are studying whether new buildings could be put up at the same cost as moving the houses.

"It's not final. We're just looking at the possibility now. It's going to depend on the numbers," she said.

Moving the existing houses could be more expensive than building new ones if problems develop during the move, Ms. Gregson said. The state and county would have less control over the cost of the project if that happened, she said.

The houses on Littlestown Pike that would be moved are at least 30 years old, Mrs. Sullivan said.

If the county builds new homes for the project, it might be able to rent out the Littlestown Pike houses for other families in need, Mrs. Sullivan said.

She doesn't want them to be torn down.

"They're too beautiful to demolish," Mrs. Sullivan said.

Besides Mrs. Sullivan, Department of General Services Director J. Michael Evans, Bureau of Development Review Chief Franklin G. Schaeffer, Bureau of Housing and Community Development Chief Marie Kienker, and Land Acquisition Manager Kenneth Baker also toured the sites in Anne Arundel and Prince George's county yesterday.

Officials probably will decide within a month whether building new homes would be affordable, Mrs. Sullivan said.

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