William Coombs has lived in Buford Manlove Manor in Wilmington, Delaware for the last ten years. As a senior, his apartment in the 40-unit affordable housing community for elderly is so much more than a place he lives in retirement — it has become home. It’s his “neighborhood” — his own community with friends, activities and information.
So in early 2012 when the site managers announced the complex was going to be renovated and residents needed to temporarily relocate, Mr. Coombs did not feel very excited or comfortable. Change is not easy for aging individuals who like their routines and familiar surroundings. But on move-in day, Mr. Coombs felt differently — that it was worth the wait.
TRF Development Partners and Ingerman Development partnered with Interfaith Community Housing to rehabilitate the outdated and tired apartments. The renovation project would also create a new community center and laundry facility. Since the housing community was completely occupied, the developers began a complex task of phased rehabilitation, relocating residents, like Mr. Coombs, into temporary housing while restorations were underway.
The move back after the renovations was just a short drive. As Mr. Coombs opened the door to his newly renovated apartment, he let out a quiet, “wow.” He stepped onto the hardwood floors, and took in the changes to his apartment bathed in natural light.
As he made his way to his accommodating back patio, a smile grew across his face, “I have a couple different grills and a smoker I’m going to have to set up for the summer.” He looked around outside and noticed the new light fixtures offering him and his neighbors added security at night, something he requested before the renovation came in.
As he came in, he looked at his new kitchen one more time, opening every cabinet while nodding in approval. “They did a good job. I’m impressed,” he added as he began to unpack his kitchen supplies, making himself at home again.
Buford Manlove Manor is a good example of Reinvestment Fund’s work — delivering capital that helps transform lives and rebuild neighborhoods. Here, TRF Development Partners worked with a network of investors and business partners to make sure seniors can live with greater dignity in affordable housing that is so much more than an apartment. It’s a home that brings peace of mind and a sense of community.