February 11, 2009 at 03:00 AM EST
Birchez Kicks Off $15 Million Senior Development in New York's Hudson Valley and Announces New Partnership with Elant, Inc.
TOWN OF ULSTER, NY, February 11, 2009 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Birchez Associates LLC, the Hudson Valley's premier developer of affordable housing, launched construction of The Birches at Chambers, a $15 million, green-friendly 66-unit development for seniors. The firm also announced a partnership with Elant, Inc. that will provide on-site medical services as well as personal support to residents of The Birches at Chambers.

"Today is a milestone," said Steve Aaron, Birchez founder and managing partner. "This is our fifth development providing housing for families and seniors." When this project is complete, Birchez will be responsible for 358 units providing homes for up to 750 elderly and families. The newly announced facility will be adjacent to Birchez' Chambers Court senior community, Aaron added.

"As we continue adding more units for seniors, the partnership with Elant fulfills an aspiration to provide high-quality, on-site medical care and lifestyle support for residents of our age-in-place communities," Aaron said.

The development is made possible through a combination of public and private funding. Aaron praised the leadership of Rep. Maurice Hinchey, the Town of Ulster Supervisor Nicky B. Woerner and the Ulster Town Board. He thanked Priscilla Almodovar, President and CEO of the New York State Housing Finance Agency (HFA) and Deborah VanAmerongen, Commissioner of the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR).

"DHCR is proud to be part of the effort to make quality, affordable housing available to senior citizens so that they can continue living safely and securely in the towns they call home," said VanAmerongen. "Congratulations to Steve Aaron and everyone at Birchez."

During construction, The Birches at Chambers will have employed up to over 100 construction workers and when completed in July, full and part-time staff for the maintenance and operations of the community, Aaron said.

"This event also proves that - even in the most challenging economic times - by pulling together the public and private sectors, we can continue increasing the supply of housing our senior citizens can afford," Aaron continued. "We face a serious need in this region. Statistically for every dollar spent on a project like The Birches at Chambers, it generates $7 back into the local economy," Aaron said.

Housing in Crisis

According to a market research report commissioned by Birchez, the need for affordable senior housing is accelerating in a market that is already severely stressed.

"The overall affordable housing market, especially for family and workforce housing, is in crisis within the region," said the September report prepared by Richard J. Lampert, a real estate and market research consultant in Pleasantville, N.Y. Focusing on seniors, the report observes:

- Within the next three years, the demand for affordable housing will continue to be greater than the projected supply
- There have been zero vacancies in all subsidized senior housing

The Birches at Chambers Snapshot

The new housing will be LEED certified and comprises 52 one-bedroom and 14 two-bedroom units that can house up to 80 people. Eight of the units will be income directed or housing cost burdened. The remaining 58 units are set according to an income-based formula, and will range from $596 to $712 for the one-bedroom units and $750 to $895 for the two-bedroom units. All units include heat, water, hot water and trash removal and discounted rates for cable and internet. Air conditioning is included. Applicants must be 62 or over and can call (845) 338-7571 or (845) 331-2097 or download an application at http://www.birchez.com.

The community includes:

- A common community room and associated common areas, including a full kitchen for gatherings and events
- A fully equipped fitness center with personal training made available through Signature Fitness of Kingston
- Combination library and computer lab
- Crafts room
- Media room
- Individual wired and wireless internet connectivity in every unit
- Energy Star appliances
- The two-bedroom units feature special accommodations for medical equipment and a more flexible use of space by, and room for, caregivers
- Bus service provided by Ulster County Area Transit
- Emergency call system
- State-of-the-art closed circuit security system
- On site maintenance staff
- Senior staff advocate

Elant Alliance

Elant personnel will be on site, Aaron said. He called the community-based, not-for-profit group the "perfect partner" for his firm. In addition to practical counseling to help seniors maintain an independent lifestyle, the group will provide physical and speech therapy, health-care aides, wellness and health education programs, as well as other services.

Founded in 1985, Elant has grown from a 120-bed nursing home in Goshen, N.Y., to the leading provider of health and housing services for the elderly in the Hudson Valley and beyond. Elant now serves more than 3,000 people on any given day through its campuses of care, home-care agencies and community services. For more information on Elant, call 1-800-501-3936 or visit http://www.elant.org.

About Birchez

Birchez Associates LLC, a Hudson Valley real estate development company, is widely recognized for providing senior citizens with homes they can afford in supportive communities where they can age in place by fostering strategic partnerships with leaders in the service provider industry. The firm is expanding its footprint with additional affordable senior housing and innovative solutions that enable the expansion of public- and private-sector facilities. The company is the owner and manager of Chambers Court in the Town of Ulster, The Birches at Saugerties, The Birches at Esopus and Birchwood Village in the City of Kingston.

Media Contact:
Sandy Frinton
JMC Marketing Communications & PR
(845) 454-3895
sandy@mallen.com

Birchez Associates LLC
Steve Aaron or Claudine Heller
(845) 331-2097
saaron@birchez.com
cheller@birchez.com

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