Kelley’s Field senior housing renovations to be complete in November

Catherdral square CEO Kim Fitzgeral (from left) and SASH Director Molly Dugan speak with Dee and Bill Howe at the Kelley’s Field celebration on Sept. 17. Dee said she is really going to miss the workers. She was impressed they didn’t crush her flowers in the process. The new walk-in shower is heaven-sent she said. Photo by Lynn Monty
Cathedral Square CEO Kim Fitzgerald (from left) and SASH Director Molly Dugan speak with Dee and Bill Howe at the Kelley’s Field celebration on Sept. 17. Dee said she is really going to miss the workers. She was impressed they didn’t crush her flowers in the process. The new walk-in shower is heaven-sent she said. Photo by Lynn Monty

Kelley’s Field was constructed 36 years ago as a 24-unit affordable housing community in the center of Hinesburg. When the Alliance property went up for sale, Housing Vermont and Cathedral Square partnered to purchase it and make needed capital improvements.

Those improvements were celebrated on Sept. 17. Housing Vermont’s Kenn Sassorossi said in the world of affordable housing, places like Kelley’s Field need to be preserved. “We owed this to the residents,” he said. “It’s a resource once lost is lost forever.”

Renovations totaling $1.6 million include new kitchens, bathrooms, flooring, windows, siding, and roof. Accessibility improvements and new energy efficient gas boilers were installed.

State and town representatives were present, and Sen. Bernie Sanders sent a letter to be read aloud. In it he said he was sorry he couldn’t be there to help celebrate the accomplishment. He thanked everyone who contributed to the success of Kelley’s Field over the years.

Sanders said supporting residents with affordable housing and access to a healthy independent life, like these Kelley’s Field supporters have, brings everyone closer to the day when all Vermonters can enjoy safe, decent, and affordable housing.

Rep. Bill Lippert said he’s spent a considerable amount of time shaking hands with the residents of Kelley’s Field over the years. “These people deserve to have a wonderful place to live,” Lippert said. “I was thrilled when I heard it was going to be renovated. I am eager to take the tour.”

Apartments were open for a tour, some still under renovation. Ora Brown has lived at Kelley’s Field for three decades. She was happy to open her apartment for the tour. This was the first renovation to happen of this magnitude, she said.

Resident Joan Bettis said her place looks like something out of Home Magazine now, and her neighbor Elaine Cross said, “I feel more comfortable and proud to live here. I loved it before, but with all of the renovations, I love it even more now.”

Cathedral Square Director of Development Cynthia Reid said the improvements will be complete in November. The goal is to improve the quality of housing so people can age with dignity and stay in their home and never be institutionalized, she said. “The idea is to age in place safely and have compassionate management here,” she said.

There were a total of 12 funding sources, Reid said. “The work of affordable housing is extremely complicated because it’s a combination of federal, local, and state funding resources,” she said. “It’s not a business for the faint of heart.”

Reid said the Town of Hinesburg has been instrumental through this process. “If only every town in the state could be so wonderful,” she said. “It’s a great community.”