“I didn’t realize how depressed I was in my old apartment, where there was no sunlight,” Joan says, “until I moved into this new place that’s so bright and beautiful. I feel like a new woman!”
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What a difference a thoughtfully designed home makes. Joan’s apartment in the brand-new Robbins Way affordable housing community for seniors in Robbinsdale, Minnesota was built in partnership with Faith-Lilac Way Lutheran Church. The new homes for area seniors with limited incomes were designed with large, south-facing bowed windows that let the sun pour in—a real mood-booster during Minnesota’s long winters, and a big improvement over the dark apartment where Joan lived for eight years before becoming one of the first residents to move into Robbins Way. And at Robbins Way, she pays no more than 30% of her income for this beautiful home.
As an early arrival, Joan looks forward to helping build community among her new neighbors. The common areas at Robbins Way are designed to encourage social interaction, which helps people stay healthier and may even play a role in staving off dementia in seniors. “There are so many beautiful rooms for socializing here,” Joan says, looking at the lounge behind her where some residents are beginning to gather for a weekly coffee hour. “CommonBond has been very thoughtful in thinking of so many ways to make us comfortable.”
Where affordable housing is built can be as important as how it is built. Robbins Way apartments are specially designed to give senior residents access to independent living. The apartments themselves aren’t the only thing created with seniors in mind; the building is in a key location so that senior residents can access the entire city.
Through a unique partnership with HUD, the city of Robbinsdale and Faith-Lilac Way Lutheran Church, CommonBond was able to build Robbins Way close to the heart of Robbinsdale, Minnesota. Now, when Robbinsdale residents grow older, they don’t have to move away from their community to find housing they can afford.
More importantly, easy access to major bus lines and shopping from Robbins Way means that residents can stay engaged and independent long after they stop driving. And with the help of Hennepin County’s Transit-Oriented Design program, accessing these buses is easy. CommonBond has provided expanded sidewalks and extra lighting for residents to use public transit.
Housing communities close to where people work, shop and play are part of our commitment towards strong futures. We can help residents stay engaged, reduce our environmental impact and build long-lasting, healthy communities by paying attention to the site and location of our housing communities.