BRS provides housing in New Salisbury
By Stephanie Taylor Ferriell, Senior Staff Writer, [email protected]
By the time Blue River Services held a grand opening celebration for its new Apple Orchard Apartments in New Salisbury, all of the units were either occupied or spoken for and the waiting list for those interested in an apartment had grown to 92.
“There’s a need,” said Suann Stroud, BRS housing director. “Part of our mission is affordable housing. We serve the community in any aspect and we see housing as one of those.”
The multi-family affordable housing complex was completed in February. Also on the property is a new group home for adults with disabilities, Pine View. Ribbon cutting ceremonies, along with tours, for both facilities took place March 25.
Stroud said the Apple Orchard project began in November 2020 and was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic as lumber prices increased and the labor pool shrank.
“It took a little longer than expected,” she said.
Some changes had to be made to accommodate the materials cost increase, including changing the look of the front of the apartment buildings and not providing washers and dryers.
Apple Orchard features 20 two-bedroom units, four three-bedroom apartments and four units that are ADA-compliant, with lower counters and sinks for wheelchair accessibility, along with accessible showers and other accommodations.
The apartment kitchens are fully equipped with each having a refrigerator, electric range, dishwasher and microwave. The complex has Energy Star windows, doors, electric heating and air conditioning.
There is a small playground on site and raised bed gardens will be installed this spring to allow residents an opportunity to grow their own produce.
Apple Orchard also has an on-site office and a community room with a kitchenette and computer stations with high-speed fiber internet connection.
Dan Lowe, CEO of BRS, said the organization’s goal is to “weave itself into the fabric of the community. This is a good example of that. We hope to continue on that path.”
Funding sources included the Indiana Housing & Community Development Authority, Federal Home Loan Bank, Harrison County Community Foundation and the Old National Bank Foundation. A Walmart grant assisted with playground costs.
Lowe also thanked Missi Bush-Sawtelle, who sold BRS the property for the project.
Stroud said there is a definite housing need in the northern part of Harrison County and Apple Orchard helps fill the gap.
“This is a major intersection for employment,” she said, noting the large number of people who pass through the S.R. 64 and S.R. 135 intersection en route to work.
Pine View, the assisted living home, also fills a big need, said Tammy Seitz, chief operating officer for BRS.
Each of the five residents have their own bedroom with shared common areas.
The house was designed specifically with an aging population in mind. Each bedroom and the bathroom have a Hoyer lift to assist those with mobility issues.
“This technology allows us to serve our residents longer and delay entry into a nursing home,” said Seitz. “It improves their quality of life.”
Pine View also has an attached garage for the van used to transport residents to the Palmyra workshop and on other outings. That is a huge benefit because residents no longer have to walk outside in poor weather when they go somewhere.
“We’re really proud of it,” Seitz said of the home. “It’s been a labor of love.”
For more information about the housing options Blue River Services provides, contact the housing office at [email protected] or submit an application on the website: www.brsinc.org/blue-river-housing.