The Community Gardens Senior Rental Housing
In its first phase, The Community Gardens senior housing project completed 50 units of senior housing that incorporates the innovative Pocket Neighborhoods concept pioneered by Ross Chapin. The units are fully accessible, have zero steps, attached garages, and acres of interconnected walking paths. Pocket neighborhoods are clustered groups of neighboring apartments gathered around a shared open space which has a clear sense of territory and shared stewardship. These are settings where nearby neighbors can easily know one another, where empty nesters and single householders with far-flung families can find friendship or a helping hand nearby.
Why is shared outdoor space so important?
The shared outdoor space at the center of a cluster of homes is a key element of a pocket neighborhood. Residents surrounding this common space take part in its care and oversight, thereby enhancing a felt and actual sense of security and identity.
What are these design principles?
Successful pocket neighborhoods start with the central idea of a limited number of dwellings gathered around a shared commons. Multiple clusters will form a larger aggregate community. These communities are not isolated to themselves, like a gated community, but connect and contribute to the character and life of the surrounding neighborhood. It is essential that cars and traffic do not invade the shared pedestrian space. The active rooms of the homes, including front porches, face the commons rather than turning their back to neighbors. As noted above, there is a layering of public to private space, and careful placement of windows to ensure privacy for each dwelling.
NHP had over five hundred applicants on a waiting list for the first fifty units. Clearly, our community has an unmet need for quality and affordable housing for seniors on limited incomes. We plan to apply for funding to continue this program and hope to commence construction on an additional fifty units in the near future. If you would like more information, please call (937) 505-9055.
Partners include Ohio Housing Finance Agency, Federal Home Loan Bank, City of Springfield, HUD, NeighborWorks America, Buckeye Hope Community Foundation, and Ohio Capital Corporation.