BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – An important option for affordable senior housing in the heart of Buffalo has a whole new look inside. After a year’s worth of work, Baptist Manor residents celebrated the completion of a massive redevelopment project with a ribbon cutting Tuesday morning.
The building first opened in 1976 to provide affordable, safe senior housing, but over the years, it became clear some renovations were needed.
“We’ve been able to provide affordable housing for the last 41 years, and we needed some updates,” said Baptist Manor Executive Director Martha Prinzbach. “There were things that really needed to be repaired and updated.”
Now, all 127 units in the building have been renovated from top to bottom, with new floors, countertops, and cabinets, as well as big changes in the bathrooms, where the tubs have been replaced with walk-in showers. “This is just so much safer for them,” Prinzbach said. “The number one reason for seniors needing higher level level of care is falling, so we want to try to prevent that as much as we can.”
Senior safety is the priority in the redesign around the building with everything from handrails in the hallways to emergency pull cords in the apartments which directly call emergency responders for help.
The goal is to keep low-income seniors living independently here for longer, something valued by the state housing agency that provided a lot of the funding to make the project possible.
“Here at Baptist Manor, we invested over $6 million into the renovation of this project, which is part of a larger, comprehensive statewide affordable housing plan that we launched recently,” said RuthAnne Visnauskas, NYS Homes & Community Renewal Commissioner.
“The governor committed $2.5 billion dollars to create 100,00 units of affordable housing over the next five years,” she explained.
The units at Baptist Manor won’t stay empty for long, though. With the construction finished, tenants can start moving in again.
There’s already a year-long waiting list to move in.
“Senior housing, especially here in Buffalo, there’s a great need for that,” Prinzbach said. “There always has been. I’ve been in the industry for over 20 years but it seems even more so now with the Baby Boomers becoming seniors themselves.”
You can learn more about what Baptist Manor offers for residents online at www.baptist-manor.org