McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Local News

January 9, 2014

Housing features accessibility

McALESTER — Being able to pass through a doorway or fit into a bathroom may not be a concern for some people. For others, it is a daily problem, sometimes even in their own homes.

Here in McAlester, some of these frustrations will soon be set at ease.

Rock Ridge Apartments, located at 808 E. Jefferson Ave., is a 15-unit one- and two-bedroom apartment community for very low-income adults with physical disabilities. An open house for the community is set for Jan. 31 from 1 until 5 p.m. and Feb. 1 from 8 a.m. until noon.

The facility was developed by St. Paul, Minn., firm Accessible Space Inc., a non-profit sponsor and developer that worked closely with the McAlester based non-profit sponsor Oklahomans for Independent Living.

“OIL reached out to us and we’ve been working closely with them,” Devin Vander Schaff, a marketing representative for Accessible Space Inc., said Tuesday. “We’re very pleased we will soon be able to show what we’ve been working toward at the open house.

“After about three years, it is finally coming to fruition.”

Rock Ridge Apartments is the first accessible, affordable apartment community in Oklahoma, developers say. Each unit includes features such as accessible stove tops, roll-under counters and sinks, large roll-in showers, 36-inch wide doors with lever action handles, as well as raised electrical outlets and lowered light switches, all meant to accommodate the needs of adults with disabilities.

Vander Schaff said he is expecting official permission to occupy the apartments from the government on Jan. 17. This final piece of paperwork is all that is needed to open the doors of Rock Ridge.

“Market research shows there is such a need for this type of housing and these types of facilities all across the state,” Vander Schaff said. “Accessible housing for people with physical disabilities was particularly needed in McAlester.

“One of the most exciting things about the open house is that we will have a lot of professionals on hand to answer any questions folks may have.”

Vander Schaff said some examples of common questions include specific qualifications for living on the premises, as well as concerns about living independently. 

“We are ready for everyone to come see what we may be able to offer folks in the Sooner State,” Vander Schaff, said. “We have apartments available for adults with disabilities that are completely accessible. They aren’t even necessarily meant just for people who use wheelchairs. They are built for adults with any mobility impairment, as defined by their medical professional.”

Examples of these mobility impairments include any individual who uses a cane or walker, or possesses a visual or hearing impairment. Applicants with other physical disabilities or traumatic brain injuries may also qualify.

Vander Schaff said applicants must simply have a medical professional sign a verification form to determine if they qualify for housing at Rock RIdge Apartments.

The apartment community was funded through a grant by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. Applicants must pass necessary screening checks and meet income requirements, Vander Schaff said. Residents who qualify will pay rent totaling 30 percent of their monthly household income.

“We are very pleased to be in Oklahoma and with our first project in McAlester,” Vander Schaff said. “We are looking forward to the open house and meeting some of our potential applicants. Everyone interested can finally see this project for themselves.”

Contact Trevor Dunbar at tdunbar@mcalesternews.

com.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • mc-safety2.jpg OHP slates free motorcycle safety course

    The Oklahoma Highway Patrol will be back in McAlester to give a free motorcycle safety course on April 26.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Couple seeks to help homosexual community in McAlester

    A McAlester woman says she and her spouse are working to bring equality to McAlester.

    April 18, 2014

  • Look what's going on downtown McAlester tonight

    Tonight, area residents are invited to join other community members in front of the old Hunts building at the northwest corner of Choctaw Avenue and Second Street in downtown McAlester to listen and to play music in an open street jam, karaoke, cruise-in and to enjoy one of McAlester's two downtown districts. Set-up starts at 6 p.m., jam will be underway by 7 p.m. and at approximately 8 p.m. karaoke all the while cars cruise in. Everyone should feel free to bring lawn chairs and grills, instruments and music equipment, or classic, modified, modern -- all -- show cars. There are no contests or prizes planned, just community fellowship. 

    April 18, 2014

  • Police Badge MCC.jpg Detective's Dispatch: Buckle up

    It only takes a few seconds to put your seat belt on. These few seconds could change the rest of your life!

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • KTC Proclamation McAlester KTC students compete in state FCCLA contest

    Kiamichi Technology Center, McAlester Campus, recently participated in the 2014 Oklahoma State Students Taking Action with Recognition Events for Family, Career and Community Leaders of America.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-18-BREAKFAST1.jpg Lackey: Challenge of today's church is to empower Christ

    Christians everywhere make up the Body of Christ.
    Tom Lackey, of the First Presbyterian Church, delivered that message to the fourth gathering of those participating in the Men’s Holy Week Breakfasts.
    Lackey spoke to a group estimated at more than 100 men and boys at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in McAlester on Thursday.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Moon Shadow McAlester crowd gathers to watch lunar eclipse

    More than 60 local and area residents gathered to endure the cold temperatures and late night hours to witness one of Mother Nature’s celestial night shows Tuesday morning.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Luncheon speaker Hundreds attend ladies luncheon

    The 42 Annual Women’s Holy Week Salad Luncheon took place Thursday at the Scottish Rite Masonic Temple.

    April 17, 2014 3 Photos

  • Copper wire $5,000 reward offered after theft of copper wire

    A $5,000 reward is being offered in connection with a theft of copper wire causing some $400,000 in damage and causing a Savanna asphalt company to shut down operations, police say.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Crash south of Kiowa McAlester trooper saluted

    Trooper Sean Mass of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol’s Troop D, McAlester, has been recognized as a Trooper of the Year by AAA Oklahoma.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

Seasonal Content
AP Video
NDN Video
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.