Sisters of St. Joseph Break Ground on Housing Project

HOLYOKE — The Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Springfield recently broke ground on the St. Joseph Residence at Mont Marie in Holyoke. The congregation has been awarded a $4.3 million Section 202 capital advance from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for the project.  The grant will also provide a three-year rental subsidy of $438,000.

This is the second time in three years that the congregation has been awarded HUD funding for a senior-housing project. Sr. Mary Quinn, president of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Springfield, said the congregation is thrilled to receive another grant. “St. Joseph Residence will respond to our neighbors who are in need of affordable housing as well as supportive services,” she said. “This project speaks to the heart of who we are as Sisters of St. Joseph serving our ‘dear neighbors.’”

HUD Project Manager Sheila Galicki added that “the Sisters of St. Joseph are wonderful partners.  Their mission mirrors HUD’s mission of providing affordable, safe housing for the elderly.”

The two-story facility will include 30 one-bedroom, low-income apartments for people over 62 years of age with varying needs for supportive services. The Sisters of St. Joseph, co-sponsoring the project with Mercy Housing, designed the facility to provide housing that prolongs independent living as an alternative to long-term care placement.

All apartments will be of senior-friendly design, and a percentage will also be handicapped-accessible. The building will include a community room with a kitchen, a computer/sitting room, and a large courtyard for recreation. The facility, at 38 Lower Westfield Road, will sit on the east side of the Mont Marie campus overlooking the Connecticut River valley.

The entire cost of the project will be determined following additional engineering and design work. The congregation received additional funding from the Department of Housing and Community Development, City of Holyoke HOME Funds, the Community Economic Development Assistance Corp., and the Charles H. Farnsworth Trust.

St. Joseph Residence is phase two of a multi-phase affordable-housing campus. The first phase, Mont Marie Senior Residence, which opened in September 2008, was primarily funded by a $6.2 million HUD grant and provides 49 low-income apartments for the elderly who require limited services. Both residences will be open to the public.

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