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Residents of Auburn senior community forced to find housing after property’s foreclosure

Donna Silsby had begun settling into her apartment at Valley Springs in Auburn when she received a startling letter saying she had to vacate her residence by the end of this month.

The 24-unit property, an affordable apartment complex for seniors, was foreclosed on.

Silsby moved into the apartment in March and said she found it to be clean and comfortable. Having to uproot herself again is frustrating.

“This is making me age fast,” the good-natured, 88-year-old joked.

Surrounded by boxes and packing supplies, Silsby said one of her four children helped her buy a home in Auburn.

Valley Springs is part of the federal Section 42 housing program that helps investors develop affordable housing by providing tax credits. It’s administered by the Kansas Housing Resources Corporation.

Fred Bentley, the organization’s director of rental housing allocation, said the situation in Auburn is unusual. “This is not the norm,” he said.

Bentley said loan payments weren’t being made by the property owners, which led to the foreclosure. Tenants were asked to leave in late June. KHRC has assisted some of the residents with relocation.

The Section 42 program has about 30,000 units in Kansas, with an average household of two to three people. Bentley said it has helped provide decent, affordable housing and that overall, the program has worked well across the country.

Susan Harris, the executive director of Jayhawk Area Agency on Aging, said the local demand for safe and affordable housing for seniors far outpaces the
supply.

“It’s definitely a challenge,” she said. “Folks on the lower income range are not going to have options to adequately meet their needs.”

Those seeking housing often run into limited availability and wait lists. Harris said finding affordable housing in safe neighborhoods is a challenge, as is securing housing that can accommodate seniors who have disabilities.

Another resident at Valley Springs who didn’t want to be identified, said the foreclosure blindsided residents. After living at Valley Springs for more than four years, he said he plans on moving to Atria Hearthstone.

According to the Shawnee County appraiser’s website, the property is owned by Auburn Senior Housing LP.

A phone number listed for Valley Springs management was not in service.

Article source: http://cjonline.com/local/news/2017-07-16/residents-auburn-senior-community-forced-find-housing-after-property-s

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