LONDON, ONT. -- Just weeks from completion, ‘Residenza Ortona’ will provide 60 affordable housing units for adults of different ages and abilities.

“Many people who are physically challenged find themselves in dire financial circumstances,” explains Lorenzo Palumbo, a board member with Italian Seniors’ Project.

“So we decided one of the markets we want to cater to is people who need barrier free units.”

A partnership has been announced with Cheshire London that will see 12 of the fully-accessible units become homes for their clients.

Cheshire’s Executive Director Judith Fisher says two or three people currently in longterm care facilities will move into the apartments— freeing up beds in the community.

Cheshire’s remaining spaces will be filled by people on a wait list.

"We have 506 people on the waiting list for Cheshire. All of the people on the list require extensive personal support,” says Fisher.

Aiming to replicate the success of common areas in Residenza Italia across the road— its hoped the fully accessible event rooms will bring tenants together.

“One of the things we try to do in our buildings is try to create a culture and a community, we do that by having common rooms, we have two common rooms,” adds Palumbo.

Government funding doesn’t cover the cost of the common rooms, so the Italian Seniors Project paid for their construction through fundraising.

“I can envision parties, and I can envision gatherings. I can envision us being able to use the common areas because there is also wheelchair accessible bathrooms,” says Fisher.

Ten of the other affordable apartments are earmarked for veterans through a partnership with the Royal Canadian Legion.

Residenza Ortona remains on schedule to have its first tenants move in at the end of August.