From resident Everett “Lucky” Fuson (at far right) to Homestead Affordable Housing Executive Director Tom Bishop (at left), a variety of business partners, government representatives and residents joined for the ribbon cutting of a Super Green senior housing development just off Rock Road in Mulvane.
MULVANE – The nation’s first Super Green senior housing complex is so popular with local seniors, it was filled before a June 6 ribbon cutting was complete.
Homestead Affordable Housing completed its 40-unit complex and all of the units were rented before a host of contractors, bankers and USDA Rural Housing officials gathered to officially open it.
The three residents who opened their homes to visitors after the ribbon cutting cited a number of reasons for renting. They included the size of the kitchen, in-house storm shelters and laundry, open concept design, good-size rooms, single story, outdoor space and the beauty of new construction.
The green design was a bonus. But, it is a bonus that is the first of its kind in the nation and the residents hope it will help them with utility bills.
Homestead Affordable Housing utilized a $15,000 Home Depot Foundation grant to reach the Super Green designation. The facility has green designations from Energy Star for Home; U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED for Homes, silver level; National Association of Home Builder’s Green Building Standard, bronze level; and the Department of Energy’s Builder’s Challenge.
Guaranteed Watt Saver was chosen to guide Homestead through the green process. Andrea Palmer, with GWS, said her oversight added nearly 200 items to the construction process.
“Comparatively nationwide, this is an oustanding project,” Palmer said.
Contractor Tony Caputo, partner with Accell Construction of Wichita, said his partner spent nearly an hour every day learning about Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design requirements.
“This project is the result of collaboration among several partners, and is a benchmark for the rest of the nation in building energy-efficient apartment complexes that are affordable,” said Tammye Trevino, USDA Rural Housing Administrator.
To gain the government-assisted housing loans, which also come with rent subsidies for residents, Homestead had to work to prove a need in Mulvane, according to Tom Bishop, executive director of Homestead Affordable Housing. While the homes are now full and a waiting list has started for future tenants, Bishop said the project will not expand as USDA would most likely consider it meeting the needs of the community.
“The residents that live in the Homestead Senior Residences Mulvane were hard-working individuals that would not have had the opportunity to live in the facility they currently do without the assistance of USDA Rural development,” he said. “USDA’s financing and rental assistance support has provided 40 seniors with an affordable and safe place to live.”
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