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Affordable Housing on the Horizon for North Salem

NORTH SALEM, N.Y. - A 28-acre tract next to the Salem Hills Health Care Center on Route 22 has been targeted to become an affordable multi-generational housing development. The conceptual design shows 84 one-bedroom apartments, earmarked for seniors 62 and older, and 18 townhouses for families, available without age restrictions. Fifteen percent of the senior apartments would be reserved for “the frail elderly.”

The site has the advantages of access to town water and the ability to tie into the sewer plant that services the nursing home. “The plant has been recently upgraded,” said developer Ken Kearney of the Kearney Realty Group. “It’s state-of-the-art now.”

In a meeting with the North Salem Town Board, Kearney listed some of the design details. There would be three separate buildings, two housing seniors only and one a multi-generational building. Each building would have a community room (two in the multigenerational building -- one for adults and one for children) and each would provide a lounge for daycare workers.

The Kearney Group designs, builds and manages its own properties. Each property will have an on-site manager and superintendent. Kearney also emphasized that his company uses excellent quality materials. He mentioned Marvin double-pane windows as an example. The buildings would have sprinkler systems, elevators, and special emergency features for the elderly. Senior apartments would rent for approximately $825 to $1,040 per month, including utilities.

In addition, a 3,000-square-foot community center will be built and donated to the town, to be used for senior programs as the town sees fit, Kearney said.

Donna Greene, spokesperson for County Executive Robert Astorino, said it was still uncertain whether the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will agree that the project meets the requirements of HUD’s existing lawsuit against the county .

“We brought in a moderator and, much to our regret, the moderator agreed with HUD,” Green said. “The county executive feels strongly that HUD is overreacting.”

She added, “We won’t know until we see a specific proposal.” Kearney is planning to make a formal application sometime in January.

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