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September 22, 2010

Interfaith Housing Alliance Opens Washington Square Apartments

Chambersburg, PA – Guests at the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new active senior apartment complex could be heard saying, “I can’t believe how beautiful this is.” and

“I would be very happy living here.” The two-story facility includes a large community room with three distinct areas. There is a large screen TV flanked by two comfortable sofas on the left, a kitchen and community dining table that can also be used for games and crafts on the right, and a large fireplace with several upholstered chairs in the center for reading and conversation.

On the second floor residents can enjoy the large exercise room, already equipped with a Wiii game system, two televisions, a treadmill and a stationary bike, with plenty of room for yoga mats. Next door is a computer center that residents are welcome to use for their personal internet and email access.

All of the light-filled apartments have an open layout that enables easy access throughout the space to those in a wheelchair or using a walker. The fully appointed kitchens have plenty of counter space, oak cabinetry, and brand new appliances including a dishwasher and microwave. Residents have the option to install a washer and dryer in their apartments (the hookups are already installed) or to visit one of two cheerfully decorated laundry rooms. Each apartment has two-bedrooms and plenty of storage space.

The successful completion of the facility took many years of perseverance at a time when many believed such undertaking was nearly impossible to achieve. The effect on the neighborhood’s appearance is remarkable. What was formerly an unoccupied retail store is now a park-like setting with a walking trail and a large cedar gazebo.

Several of the new residents attended the formal ribbon cutting ceremony and they were proud to show off their new home. Jack V. Jones, the Elm Street Manager for the Borough of Chambersburg, recognized the residents and announced that this was just the beginning of the program’s plan to create more affordable housing for the community.

Patricia A. Motter, President and CEO of Interfaith Housing Alliance, and David Uram, principal at PIRHL LLC, co-developers of the facility, thanked all of the people and organizations that contributed to the successful completion of the apartment complex including Mayor Pete Lagiovane, Council President Bill McLaughlin, Head of Planning Phil Wogelmuth, President of Downtown Chambersburg Inc. Paul Cullinane, and William Snell, President of F&M Trust. Special thanks were given to Holly Glauser, Director of Development for PHFA, for the funding support provided by the agency.

Ms. Glauser was extremely appreciative of the hard work and collaboration between everyone, especially PIRHL and Interfaith Housing Alliance.

Ms. Motter concluded the ceremony with the promise, “We are committed to our relationship with Chambersburg and we consider ourselves good neighbors and long-term friends to the downtown community.”

An open house is scheduled for the Chambersburg community on Saturday to welcome neighbors and downtown business owners to see that dreams for revitalizing the neighborhood can come true. Tours of the public areas and several apartments will be available. Light refreshments will be provided. Washington Square Apartments is located opposite the Southgate Shopping Plaza at 78 W. Washington Street.

Interfaith Housing Alliance, the owner and manager of Washington Square Apartments, is a non-profit affordable housing developer and property management organization based in Frederick, MD, and serving central and western Maryland and south-central Pennsylvania.

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