Veterans Housing Complex Approved in Bensalem

Township councilmen voted 5-0 last week to approve Pennrose Properties’ preliminary and final development plan for a three-story apartment building with 41 residences off Mechanicsville Road. The developer has plans to work with local groups and officials to ID eligible veterans, ensuring they can eventually occupy as many of the units as possible.

Bensalem Council cleared the way last week for a developer planning to build affordable housing for area veterans.

Council members voted unanimously at last week’s meeting to approve Pennrose Properties’ proposal for a three-story apartment building with 41 residences, the latest iteration of a veterans housing plan dating back to 2011.

Development team representatives shared more details about their vision for the community, located on about 1.5 acres off Mechanicsville Road, close by Parx Casino and the Street Road Shopping Center.

The developer will work in tandem with local veterans affairs officials and groups to identify prospective veteran residents before formally marketing the community, said Jacob Fisher, Pennrose’s regional vice president. That way, he said, Pennrose can market the property broadly, in compliance with fair housing regulations, while still ensuring veterans can occupy as many of the residences as possible.

The community would be age-restricted to individuals ages 62 years and older, with the bulk of the units set aside for occupants with annual incomes between $32,000 and $38,500. Monthly rent at the properties is expected to range between $749 and $913.

Fisher said funding for the community would come primarily through the federal low-income housing tax credit program, with extra funds coming from Bucks County’s HOME program and a mortgage from a conventional lender.

A few township residents raised concerns about parking for the residences, saying the planned 22 spots could prove insufficient. Project representatives said not all of the prospective occupants will have cars, and are not likely to have large families or many young children visiting. The developer also is looking to avoid adding impervious surface to the property if possible, the representatives said.

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