The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
Caroline to get housing for low-income residents
By CATHY DYSON
THE FREE LANCE-STAR
The developer who brought $20 million of low-income housing projects to King George County is reaching out to help her neighbors across the river.
Froncé Wardlaw, who directs Project FAITH in King George, plans to build 26 apartments in Bowling Green for elderly, disabled and low-income residents.
The three two-story apartment buildings will be called Angelwood at Caroline.
“We can’t wait. We are so, so appreciative,” said Cynthia Green, director of the Caroline County Department of Social Services. “We have such a need for housing in this county. There’s nothing here, no housing projects or apartments that can have subsidized rents.”
The Angelwood complex will be built on a site that Home Inc. of Fredericksburg prepared about seven years ago but wasn’t able to complete. A former official with the company asked Wardlaw if she could finish the project, and she said she was honored.
“The location is great,” she said. “This is a good one to do.”
The Angelwood complex will be on Broaddus Avenue, across the street from the Food Lion, Dollar General and McDonald’s.
It will feature 22 two-bedroom apartments and four three-bedroom ones, Wardlaw said.
The project will cost $4.8 million. Earlier this month, Project FAITH received $2.78 million in tax credits from the Virginia Housing Development Authority.
As with its housing projects in King George, Project FAITH will fund the remainder with grants and loans through agencies such as the Department of Housing and Community Development.
“I’ve worked with Froncé firsthand on projects in King George, and I knew she does an excellent job of coordinating and constructing units,” said Stephen Manster, town manager in Bowling Green. “Her entire group just has the utmost concern for the low-income and people with disabilities here in the entire region.”
Units on the first floor of the apartment building will be fully accessible to the handicapped. The apartments also will have features geared toward people with mental and sensory disabilities, such as autism or Down syndrome.
Wardlaw says the Caroline project “has taken on a sense of collaboration, and I’m proud of that.”
Officials with Union Bank, which will finance the construction, will teach classes on planning a budget on a fixed income.
Officials with social services and the Virginia Cooperative Extension will offer training in life skills. Thurman Brisben Center officials will help screen applicants and offer initial rental assistance.
“They’ll make sure that people who most need it will get the services they need,” Wardlaw said.
There’s little site work to be done because the complex’s pad sites, parking lots and sidewalks are already in place—though they do need resurfacing, Wardlaw said.
Project FAITH hopes to start construction by March 2013 and have residents moved in by the end of the year.
Caroline’s social services department will take applications when the building nears completion, Green said. She can be reached at 804/633-5071.
PROJECT FAITH CENTER STILL AWAITING VDOT’S APPROVAL
It has been almost two months since King George County agreed to give Project FAITH 5 acres for a health and social services center, but the county hasn’t turned over the deed for the land.
On May 1, the Board of Supervisors decided on a split vote to give land in the Government Complex for the HELP Center, a building where low-income residents would get a raft of services under one roof. Project FAITH Director Froncé Wardlaw plans to use state and federal tax credits, grants and low-interest loans to build the center at no cost to the county. It will cost an estimated $9 million.
The delay has come in the county and state approval process, said County Administrator Travis Quesenberry. The King George Planning Commission approved the plat, then sent it to the Virginia Department of Transportation.
Officials have been waiting for VDOT to approve the document. Once it does, Quesenberry will sign the plat, deed and performance agreement, and Wardlaw can record the documents.
The performance agreement holds Wardlaw to a fairly tight schedule. It says she must begin construction by Feb. 28, 2013, and finish by Aug. 1, 2014.
“Dates inevitably will have to be revised,” Wardlaw said this week, because she can’t apply for loans or grants until she has the deed in hand.
Cathy Dyson: 540/374-5425