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Seniors: Nowhere to go

Town grapples with housing 'dilemma'

August 12, 2009


SOUTHBRIDGE — With the Baby Boom generation approaching retirement age, the number of senior citizens is expected to balloon over the next few years. But many places, including Southbridge, have nowhere near enough senior housing for those already seeking it, never mind what's coming.

"Leo," who declined to give his last name, is such a person. He currently rents a place on Paige Hill, biding his time until an opening comes up in the senior complex on Maria Avenue, where his sister lives.

Leo said he applied there in April, but his sister waited just over a year before moving in, and others took two or more years.

"I don't know — they could have more," he said regarding housing town-wide. But instead of building anew, Leo suggested converting currently empty places — "any large building in town" — be they old mills, schools when a new school gets built, or closed industrial buildings in the former AO complex. The latter might be best, he added.

"That would be a good spot to have some apartments, if they kept it up," Leo said. "They could have a little village in there, could bring in some shops or a small market."

Editor's Note: Pick up Thursday's Southbridge Evening News to read this story in its entirety.

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