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Inclusive housing available to Brockport residents

by Panagiotis Argitis - Editor-in-Chief
Tue, Nov 19th 2019 10:00 am
Frances Apartments is one of the few inclusive housing options in the Town of Sweden. Photo Credit: Marios Argitis/ Photo Editor
Frances Apartments is one of the few inclusive housing options in the Town of Sweden. Photo Credit: Marios Argitis/ Photo Editor

Officially open to residents and tenants since October 2017, Frances Apartments, a 56-unit complex located at 1 Lifetime Way, is one of the very few tenements within the Town of Sweden to offer housing for individuals with developmental disabilities. 

Frances Apartments was built in partnership with Lifetime Assistance and Rochester’s Cornerstone Group, Ltd. along with New York State’s Office for People with Developmental Disabilities and is responsible for a vast majority of Brockport’s inclusive housing options. 

Although the residency’s available units vary in accessibility services, with apartments that accommodate residents with or without disabilities, Frances Apartments provide an alternative in the Brockport area. 

The apartments tailored to those who identify with disability allow for wheelchair accessibility, louder doorbells for residents with hearing impairments and on-site services for those who request them. While many of the available apartments are not directly built to house people with developmental disabilities, the layout of them supports easy changes such as wheelchair accommodation. 

Given the low number of inclusive housing options within the Town of Sweden, Frances Apartments has become increasingly popular among those who identify with disabilities. 

“There is definitely a need,” Frances Apartments Community Manager Katherine Barber said. “There is still such a high population that can’t find housing because of their circumstances and there are a lot of people that had never been independent before until they moved here.”

Along with the accessibility services it offers, Frances Apartments provides housing for low to moderate income families. Given the increasing living rates of neighboring towns including the City of Rochester, many of those who are unable to afford apartments in those areas have found a home in Frances Apartments. The development also allows for Section 8 residency at fair housing rates, which extends the inclusive aspect of Frances Apartments. 

Previous tenant at Frances Apartments Krista Morris resided at the complex last year and believes the residency is one of the best options in the area for those in need of affordable living. 

“I couldn’t find anything in Rochester that fit my needs and price,” Morris said. “This place [Frances Apartments] is great for the money, can’t really find much better than this.” 

While the complex currently offers apartments equipped with accessible services, Frances Apartments is already undergoing expansion plans to increase the number of housing options for those who identify with a disability. 

In doing so, the complex will add up to 14 new accessible units along with some designed for people with traumatic brain injury. Once the reconstruction is done, Frances Apartments expects more overall accessibility around the complex and pricing options to stay affordable.

The current nature of inclusive housing within Frances Apartments allows for those who identify with disability and those who don’t to coexist within the same complex. The reality of this has fostered the ideology behind the development’s all-encompassing residency. 

“A lot of people here have said ‘I didn’t even know people with disabilities live here,’” Lifetime Housing Transition Coordinator Whitney MacIntyre told WXXI. “I said ‘I know because they’re just like you or I. They may struggle a little here or there and they may just need a little support.’”

As Frances Apartments and potential future residents await the conclusion of reconstruction, those who are currently living in the complex found affordable and inclusive housing. While more apartment building agencies are expected to make efforts toward accessible living, Frances Apartments stands as one of the few options within the Town of Sweden.

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Taken by Vincent Croce:
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