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Timber Ridge History (abridged March 3, 2013)

Fall of 1967: Mrs. Betty Speicher and the Rev. John Buckheister recognized a need for housing for the elderly. Thirteen churches came together to begin the process.

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May 1969: A plan of action was completed and local churches were asked to sponsor a non-profit corporation. A major challenge was financing of construction.

August 1970: Col. Frank Swoger was named local consultant. Working with the churches, he applied to HUD for funding for the 100 unit Timber Ridge Apartments.

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October 1970: The City of Westminster approved the project and the property was annexed into the city limits. Three representatives from each of seven churches met to organize a non-profit corporation, Westminster Church Homes Inc. Those churches were Ascension Episcopal Church, Grace Lutheran Church, St. John Catholic Church, St. Paul's United Church of Christ, The First Presbyterian Church, Westminster Church of the Brethren, and Westminster United Methodist Church.

May 1972: Funding was approved.

June 1972: The property was purchased from the estate of W. Frank Thomas. The complex was named "Timber Ridge" as old deeds referred to the area by this name. Construction began that summer with A. Hensel Fink & Associates as architect, and Thomas P. Harkins Inc. Construction company. Legal counsel was Charles O. Fisher Jr.

January 1973: Timber Ridge Apartments began renting the 100 unites located in 18 buildings. Assisted rents were $109.60 for an efficiency; $122.94 for one bedroom; and $147 for a two bedroom apartment. John McCormick was the first manager.

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1974: Timber Ridge Foundation Inc. was formed as a non-profit (501) (c 3) to receive donations.

1980: Directors secured funds to build the adjacent three story mid-rise 80 unit, Ridge Residences.

1989: HUD required that a single purpose corporation be formed for the construction of Ridge Residences Inc. and the following changes were made: Westminster Church Homes Inc. to Timber Ridge Apartments Inc.; Timber Ridge Foundation Inc. to Westminster Church Homes Foundation Inc., which is the umbrella corporation for both Timber Ridge Apartments Inc. and Ridge Residences Inc.

1990: A loan was acquired from the Maryland Department of Housing & Community Development for renovations to Timber Ridge Apartments.

1997-1998: The community center was enlarged and renovated.

The complex, over the years, has maintained excellent ratings from HUD and MDHCD, both in administrative and physicial reviews. Together with the management company, Housing and Health Services Inc., the staff and the cooperation of its many residents, the Board of Directors has moved the community forward with continuing physical improvements over the last 20 years. The Board reinforces its commitment to affordable housing for seniors as it renews the Housing Assistance Payment contract with HUD to provide the necessary rental subsidy for the residents and operations of the buildings. Activities continue for both residents of Timber Ridge Apartments and Ridge Residences.

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