Every day, we at Episcopal Retirement Services work hard to uphold our belief that older adults should live with dignity and comfort in a safe, nurturing, and stimulating environment regardless of their financial situation.
But it’s not every day that we receive an award for those efforts. That’s why we’re so proud that Homebase Cincinnati honored us with its “Inspired Placemaking” award for the Marlowe Court community for limited-income seniors in Cincinnati’s College Hill neighborhood, which opened in May.
“We are grateful to College Hill Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation (CHCURC) for seeking us as their partner. Their dream for a mix of retail and residential space became our shared commitment to the neighborhood," said Kathy Ison-Lind, VP of Affordable Living and In-Home Services for ERS.
“The City of Cincinnati’s tremendous support, from start to finish, facilitated this project,” said Laura Lamb, President, and CEO of ERS. “City Council generously allocated $2 million for the acquisition, demolition, and remediation of the site.”
Homebase gives the Inspired Placemaking award to a project that has a creative effect on a neighborhood or that pulls together a team of organizations in a creative way. And that’s just what happened with Marlowe Court.
Investments included equity from ERS and the College Hill Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation; low-income housing tax credits issued by the Ohio Housing Finance Agency; a construction loan from Huntington National Bank; an Affordable Housing Program Grant from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati; and HOME funds from the City of Cincinnati.
Residents Rave About Marlowe Court
The Marlowe Court development includes 53 affordable senior housing apartments — all of which are LEED Silver or higher — with shared community areas, in addition to 5,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space. Part of the commercial space includes a newly opened branch of First Financial Bank.
Marlowe Court is one of 26 Affordable Living by ERS communities where seniors thrive in their neighborhoods and live independently on limited incomes. Many Marlowe Court residents had only dreamed of living in a place so nice and new.
“Seeing everything new, I was like a little kid in a candy store,” resident Helen Carpenter told WCPO. She had been looking for affordable living for six years and applied to live at Marlowe Court when she saw it under construction. She’s 78, and her Marlowe Court apartment the first brand-new home she’s ever lived in.
Resident Angie Smith told WCPO that she found the complex through the grace of God.
“(Compared to) where I came from, this is a mansion, nothing but a mansion,” she said. “When you get older you’re ready for peace and quiet, and that’s what I found here, is peace and quiet.”
Bringing Life to Affordable Living
Marlowe Court also received a wonderful gift through a dear friend of Karen Bell, an ERS volunteer. The community received pieces of beautiful original artwork from the collection of Shirley Hudson, bringing color, joy, and life to our walls.
The Art Company owners and art expert Debbie Fredette donated their time to matte, frame, and hang the donated art. This gift means so much to our residents, who are proud of the beautiful artwork in their space.
Neighborhood Partnerships Thrive
Since opening Marlowe, ERS welcomed community partners to provide support for the residents. Volunteers from area churches — Ascension & Holy Trinity Episcopal, St. James of the Valley, and St. Boniface Catholic — offer support. A parish nurse offers regular blood pressure checks and personal health counseling.
Gladys Stolz, from St. James of the Valley, leads exercises for residents through the Project Activate® program. This program is offered to Marlowe residents through ERS’s Parish Health Ministry and Brilliant Aging. The program’s focus is to retain health and independence through exercise.
The Need for Affordable Living is Great
Over 450 people applied to live in Marlowe Court’s 53 apartments, showing that the demand and the need for affordable senior living in Cincinnati are great.
Want to help improve the lives of limited-income seniors in Cincinnati? Click here to learn more about making a charitable donation to ERS. Your gift will help us ensure that when a senior decides to make their home in an ERS community, they’ll have a home for life.