The Houston Retirement Housing Society has completed its third housing complex, and is marking an end of an era.
President Arnold Amonson revealed that he will not take part in the construction of the next seniors housing complex. Amonson has been on the Society for 16 years, and became involved in the first housing complex in summer 2007.
“I’m too old for that now,” he said. “On this property there will be more projects down the road, but cost-wise we have to wait until we gather more money together to afford it. So this will be the last one for a few years.”
“The next one will be right behind it, and it will be, likely, the same as this one.”
The construction of the third complex started last June with features specifically to accommodate seniors.
“There’s absolutely no steps anywhere in the building, showers are all step-in — they are not tubs,” said Amonson. “Apartments aren’t really appropriate for seniors. They’ve all got stairs, and they’re all noisy.”
“If they have mobility issues at all, they are way better here than in an apartment block.”
The four two-bedroom and two one-bedroom unit also has a common area.
“Everyone wants a two-bedroom because they can use it for offices, or whatever,” he said. “There are common areas so people can enjoy getting together, visiting or having dinner parties,” said Amonson.
Tenants often organize social activities among themselves. In another building there are low-impact exercise classes, card parties, puzzles and quilting groups.
Six lucky tenants managed to secure an apartment. The housing complex has a wait list of over 20 people, said Amonson.
“In this particular building, there’s no couples. They are all single people; two men and four ladies,” said Amonson.
One of its first tenants to move in, Rainer Schmidt, described his apartment as “the best.” He moved to the seniors housing complex because he had issues dealing with staircases and wanted to downsize.
“My legs are sort of giving out, so it’s nice — no stairs. Come in – boom,” he said. “Plus … I don’t need five bedrooms.”
Amonson points to the low cost of living in Houston as a draw for seniors to live here. He also highlights how the use of geothermal energy to heat rooms saves heating costs.