Plue calls project result of eight-year effort

Jul. 31, 2013 @ 11:39 AM

The Arc of Union/Cabarrus County broke ground Tuesday morning on a housing project to serve developmentally disabled people in the area. 

It is the first project of its kind in Union County.

“This is the culmination of about eight years of a vision of bringing affordable housing to this community,” Executive Director Melinda Plue said. 

She said that this is the next phase of their journey, which has involved a lot of sweat and hard work. 

The contractor, Goranco, plans to start working on the project Wednesday. 

The home will have five units, all handicapped accessible, with one fully handicapped accessible. The tenants, after an application process, will pay rent dependent upon their income. There will not be staffing in the house, so the tenants will have to have a level of independence and most likely a support network in place. The home will be energy efficient and include amenities like a laundry room.

Freda Taylor, housing resource services coordinator with The Arc of North Carolina, said the housing program has been “very successful” in other parts of the state. 

Nicole Kiefer, assistant director of housing resources for The Arc of North Carolina, said it gives people with developmental disabilities more options.

“It gives people with developmental disabilities the opportunity to live in affordable housing,” Kiefer said. 

Monroe Resident Jake Plue plans to apply for housing once the residence is completed. 

He said he looks forward to “getting to know other people besides the ones I already know.”

He added that he will have to work on making eye contact and not being shy around new people.

“I’ve got to be more independent around people I don’t know,” he said. He plans to ride his bike for transportation.

The current estimate is that it will take eight months to complete and they are hoping to start moving people into the home in the Spring of 2014.

There are currently not sidewalks along Pfeiffer Street and the side of Old Monroe Road where the house will stand. Melinda Plue said that is a goal. 

Habitat for Humanity of Union County sold The Arc the land at a discount. Other funding came from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency and the Cannon Foundation. 

Plue said there is already a waiting list and many of the adult clients are eager to have another option for housing in Union County. 

“We hope this is the start of many more initiative like this,” Plue said.