Officials break ground on 40-unit independent senior living center in Ladd

Facility will fill the need of housing for growing elderly population

Ladd Mayor Frank Cattani said more than 30 residents have already inquired about the Ladd Senior Village, which is under construction on the 300 block of West Cleveland Street.

Officials hosted a groundbreaking ceremony Friday for the 40-unit independent senior living center that is a joint venture between the Laborers’ Home Development Corporation and Oak Grove Development Corporation.

The development, scheduled to be completed in August 2022, will feature eight one-story buildings on a seven-acre site.

“We’re finally breaking ground,” Cattani said to dozens of people during the groundbreaking ceremony at the Ladd site, many of them individuals who worked to bring the project to fruition.

The Illinois Housing Development Authority funded 25 affordable housing developments in 16 counties throughout Illinois, including the Ladd project.

Kristin Faust, executive director of the Illinois Housing Development Authority, said there’s a need for affordable senior housing across Illinois, especially in Bureau County where the population of resident 50 and older grew by 18% since 2010.

“The timing of this project is good,” Faust said.

The new independent living facility will have modern amenities geared toward elderly individuals that older homes don’t provide.

There will be one-bedroom and two-bedroom units for residents 55-and-older, said Jayne Lourash, executive director of Laborers’ Home Development Corporation, during a question-and-answer session at the Ladd Community Center after the groundbreaking ceremony.

The one bedroom unit will be 690 square feet and the two bedroom 893 square feet. Amenities will include a large community room and kitchen, computer lab and fitness center. The outdoor amenities will include a gazebo, picnic tables and grills. There will be 67 parking spaces divided among the 40 units.

Residents must file an application and undergo a background check to be selected, Lourash said. Under the affordable housing model, a percentage of applicants will be selected who make 30% or below of the mean income for the area and another percentage of applicants will be selected who make 60% or below of the mean income.

During the question-and-answer session, several questions were asked about who can live in the facilities. Two residents will be allowed per bedroom and guests will be allowed to stay for three nights per month. Despite the possibility, Lourash said it’s rare for residents to have children living with them. No pets will be allowed.

The facility’s managers will make sure units are kept orderly and an agreement will be reached for the post office to deliver mail to a single location with individual lock boxes for each unit.

Statements of congratulations from State Rep. Lance Yednock (D-Ottawa) and Sen. Sue Rezin (R-Morris) were read by Cattani. Officials also praised village officials for their work in establishing the senior center.

“I’m involved with dozens of projects, and what made the project in the village of Ladd unique, or spectacular to work with, is that whenever I had to make a call, someone from Ladd was on the other end saying ‘You bet. When?’ " said Chris Block, of Block Affordable Housing Consulting, LLC.