Veterans Assisted Living Facility Coming to Newington
NEWINGTON - A $29 million assisted living facility for elderly veterans will be constructed on Alumni Road in Newington in 2014, representatives from Community Renewal Team, a multi-service organization, told town residents at a presentation last Monday, Feb. 4, in the Council Chambers.
The project is Veterans Landing Assisted Living and its aim is to provide a nursing home alternative that is affordable, CRT staff members said.
“It’s not enough to build another assisted living--Connecticut already has a lot of those,” said CRT Vice President of Senior Services Gus Keach-Longo. “We need to build one that is affordable and focused on veterans.”
Affordable assisted living is hard to come by in the state, Longo said. Typical expenses can start at around $4,600 per month and increase to as much as $8,000 per month, he said.
Longo pointed to The Retreat, a CRT assisted living facility for low income veterans in Hartford. At The Retreat, the highest monthly rent is $735; the lowest is $544. What each resident is charged is dependent on income.
Veterans Landing will have 95 one-bedroom apartments and 80 studios. Services will include Meals on Wheels, grocery delivery, senior volunteer opportunities, on-site medical staff and aid for daily activities, as needed.
“A lot of times seniors stay where they are for years because they want to stay where they’ve lived,” Longo said. “But one thing that happens is they become isolated.”
CRT’s initiative is aimed specifically at veterans in order to create an environment conducive to the camaraderie former members of the military have grown accustomed to during their years serving.
“I can’t think of a better thing to do up there,” said Newington Town Councilor Terry Borjeson at a recent Council meeting. “I think it’s something very worthwhile for the veterans and our community.”
The $800,000 Alumni Road land parcel is being leased to CRT for free by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, which chose the organization to spearhead it. CRT, which aids groups and individuals in achieving self-sufficiency in a variety of areas, runs transitional homes for homeless and/or unemployed veterans.
CRT has yet to secure any funding for the project, which will not receive Federal funding. The organization will be looking to “both public and private” sources to help cover the cost, said CRT Director of External Affairs Nancy Pappas.
CRT is hoping to be able to negotiate for veteran pension benefits that would otherwise go to nursing homes for housing the residents that will be living at Veteran’s Landing, Pappas said.
The construction process is expected to provide 175 jobs and the facility itself, once it is open, will create 80 new permanent positions, according to Monty Aheart, President and CEO of The Meadows, CRT’s non-profit real estate organization.
Assisted living is typically cheaper than nursing homes because not all residents need full-time, dependent services, Longo said.
“We’re saving about $3.2 million a year having them in a community and not only that, it’s a better quality of life,” he said.
The facility will also be paying taxes to Newington, instead of costing taxpayers.
“So it will be an income producer for the town,” said Newington Mayor Stephen Woods. “That’s like an added bonus.”