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.


Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • 07 30 SOUTH AVE 1.jpg 'Road Closed' means just that

    No road.
    No kidding.
    For months, signs placed along South Avenue and Country Club Road read “Road Closed Ahead” — although the roads were still open.

    Now though, the “Road Closed Ahead” signs on South Avenue, along with those on Country Club Road and Peaceable Road, mean exactly what they say.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Square logo.jpg City extends 17th Street construction deadline to mid-September

    A Stillwater company working on the Seventeenth Street Capital Improvement Project for the city of McAlester now has until mid-September to complete the job.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Devin Mitchell McAlester man facing rape charges has hearing date set

    A preliminary hearing date has been set for a man who is facing charges of rape in the first degree (victim under age 14) and sodomy, victim under the age of 16.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • comish County to decide on liquor sales

    They’re ready to give the voters a shot.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • comish Election set to decide Sunday sales of liquor by the drink

    They’re ready to give the voters a shot.
    Pittsburg County commissioners have called a Nov. 4 Special Election date for voters to decide if they want to approve the sale of liquor by the drink on Sundays.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Randy Green Judge rules in Green case

    A Pittsburg County judge has ruled the city of McAlester acted improperly in amending former City Manager Randy Green’s retirement plan to eliminate an “additional benefit” of $1,764.49.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Road closed ROAD CLOSED

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • mhrc Okla. State student observing at MRHC

    An Oklahoma State University student is observing at McAlester Regional Health Center as part of the rural medicine track offered at the university.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • CHRIS-MORRIS-2.jpg Detective's Dispatch

    The McAlester Police Department responds to domestic violence calls on a daily basis. Many times when our officers arrive, we get very little cooperation.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • lungdoctor.png Hospital hires lung specialist

    McAlester has a new lung doctor, the first since 2008.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

Seasonal Content
AP Video
Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA
NDN Video
Heartwarming 'Batkid Begins' Documentary is Tear-Jerker Orlando Bloom 'Takes a Swing' at Justin Bieber In Ibiza Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza Meet the Man Behind Dumb Starbucks Chris Pratt Adorably Surprises Kids at a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Screening NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob Golden Sisters on '50 Shades' trailer: 'Look At That Chest!' Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show'

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.