Assisted living proposed in YMHA plan

By Peter H. Milliken


The Youngstown Metropolitan Housing Authority has adopted a revised five-year strategic plan that proposes establishing an assisted living facility for senior citizens. It would serve those who can’t live completely independently in apartments but do not need to be in a nursing home.

“Right now, we have our senior developments, and no in-between step. When they’re no longer able to live totally by themselves, then they go into a nursing home. If we had an assisted living, that would be another step,” explained Carmelita Douglas, YMHA executive director.

Other items in the plan, which ends next year, include major renovations and partial demolition at the Kirwan Homes in Campbell; construction of a new community building at the Brier Hill Annex, pending funding availability; exterior renovations and heating, ventilating and air conditioning improvements at Amedia Plaza; interior renovations at Gutknecht Towers; fence upgrades and exterior renovations at Rockford Village; and a new roof at Vasu Manor.

Also in the plan, which is being submitted to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, are completion of renovations at 212 Broadway, which will become a veterans’ residence, and enhanced security at all YMHA housing sites, including use of security cameras and increased security patrols.

Exterior renovations at the six-unit veterans’ home are 99 percent complete, and the authority hopes all renovations will be completed this year, Douglas said.

The plan, adopted Thursday, contains a new safety rule saying smoking in any housing unit in which a resident uses oxygen will result in eviction.

In other business at the board’s meeting, the federal budget was discussed.

“Sequestration will have a potentially devastating effect on the agency,” Douglas said, adding that it could result in layoffs and furloughs at the authority and that full details concerning those automatic federal budget cuts are still unknown.

“Sequestration’s going to be like a 5 percent cut across the board for public housing,” said Gary Cameron, authority finance director.

Also, Lester Walker, project manager, said families continue to move into the newly constructed Village at Arlington, which is replacing the demolished Westlake Terrace. Forty-nine units there are occupied, and five more will become occupied next week in Phase One of the development, leaving six vacant, he said. Eight residents have moved into the 60-apartment Phase Two there, he said.

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