Apartments will give residents independence

Mar. 25, 2014 @ 05:10 PM

After eight years of planning, the ARC of Union County officially opens its independent living apartments for residents April 1.

The five-apartment facility on Phifer Street in Monroe broke ground last fall. It is the result of cooperation between several agencies.

“We partnered with U.S. Housing and Urban Development, ARC of North Carolina, our local Habitat for Humanity chapter and other agencies to fund construction of these apartments,” ARC of Union County Executive Director Melinda Plue said.

The land was owned by Union County Habitat for Humanity, which chose to donate the land to ARC for the apartments. The Monroe City Council approved a conditional zoning permit for the location last year, hailing it as a a great addition to the community.

“I think the city is proud to have helped make this possible,” Plue said.

The apartments are designed for people with developmental and intellectual disabilities. The building, dubbed Carroll Pointe in honor of the late Carroll Edwards, allows residents with IDD more independence than settings like living with family or in group homes.

“Options were limited for people with IDD who wanted to live independantly,” Plue said. “If they didn’t want to live with their parents or in a group home, their only option was in an apartment complex. Most of them they could afford weren’t in the best neighborhoods.”

This building’s location was chosen carefully. ARC staff wanted the surrounding neighborhood to be safe for residents.

“Every amenity a person would need is within a mile which is important for someone who doesn’t drive,” Plue said. “It’s minutes away from downtown Monroe and the fire and police departments. There’s a grocery store a few minutes away and we have buy-ins from the local homeowners and a local church community.”

Staff at ARC will also be available to help Carroll Pointe residents as needed, Plue said. Union County lacks a mass transit system, but Union County Transportation Services is available to take residents to doctors’ appointments.

Each apartment is about 500 square feet. One is completely wheelchair accessible. Four apartments join an inner common room for times when residents want to entertain guests or gather among themselves. Each apartment is energy efficient and features a living room, kitchen, one bedroom and a bathroom.

Residents will pay rent based on their monthly income. Those with jobs will pay more, but it will stay at about 30 percent of their total income.

Though the apartments are a couple of weeks away from move-in day, there is already a full house. ARC staff opened applications to the public back in November and quickly had qualifying residents apply.