Local organizations unveil affordable housing plans at the Dutch Plaza

A new affordable housing complex for elderly and disabled folks is on the way as two Columbia organizations work to create permanent housing opportunities.

Midlands Housing Alliance and Transitions Homeless Center unveiled a plan for Monarch Manor, a solution to help reduce homelessness in the city, during a ceremony on Wednesday morning.

Some people who attended the ribbon cutting like Daryl Byrd were excited about the plan.

“It’s just amazing for this place to open up and get people off of the streets,”

Byrd says as a disabled veteran, he and his wife fell on hard times and didn’t have a place to stay, he says Transitions helped him overcome homelessness.

“I was in and out of the hospital and I had meningitis and I stayed in the hospital for a period of time,” said Byrd.

Soon, thanks to Transitions and the Midlands Housing Alliance, other people struggling with disabilities will have a safe and permanent place to call home.

The new complex will be located at the Dutch Plaza near Dutch Square Blvd.

Phase one of the plan includes building an adult daycare that will be open to everyone and phases two and three will include 55 brand-new apartments and a community center.

“We can get a person a job, but if there is no place to put them then we can’t give them those apartment keys that we want to,” said Currey.

The complex will have wide doorways for wheelchairs, handrails in the restroom as well as larger elevators for emergencies and general use.

Transitions director Craig Currey says Monarch Manor will also be for elderly people.

“55% of our population at Transitions are either disabled or have a chronic health condition,” said Currey. “13% are either 62 or older.”

Officials say the project could be done by the end of the year or the beginning of next year.

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