Columbia foundation to build home for elderly

A nonprofit Columbia foundation is planning to build a group home for 45 elderly residents next to the Ellicott Mills Middle School in Ellicott City.

The facility, called the Shan-Gri-La Group Home for the Elderly, will be located at 4475 Montgomery Road and is planned for seniors who can no longer live alone but aren't ready to enter a nursing home.


In addition to housing, residents will receive daily meals, housekeeping services and monitoring of their medication and transportation to medical appointments, if necessary. The staff will also provide activities and social events for the residents.

The home is being developed by the nonprofit R. V. International Foundation of Columbia. Foundation President Pradip K. Gosh said there is a "demonstrated need for a facility like this."


Shan-Gri-La rents will range from $363 to $493 per month with an additional $500 for food and support services. Residents will be housed in two one-story buildings.

Diane Perry, housing coordinator for the county Office on Aging, said that the Shan-Gri-La home should find a market in the county, where the monthly rent for senior group homes ranges from $950 to $2,500. The average monthly rent in the county for this type of housing is $1,200.

"We welcome housing at the lower end of the price range," Ms. Perry said.

But the low-income elderly, who have the greatest need for group senior-assisted housing, won't be able to afford Shan-Gri-La, Ms. Perry said. This group includes seniors whose monthly incomes are between $450 and $800.

About 40 county seniors are on a waiting list to receive county and state housing subsidies for group homes with support services, Ms. Perry said.

The number of group senior-assisted homes has grown rapidly over the past two years, from 10 to 26. The vacancy rate is 25 percent, Ms. Perry said.

Mr. Gosh has obtained zoning approval for the Shan-Gri-La project and is seeking state and county money to finance the facility.

He has applied for a $1 million state loan through the Community Development Administration and a $150,000 loan from the county. He is also asking for a $57,000 county grant to cover the costs of site development and engineering plans, building permit and water and sewer connection fees.


Mr. Gosh said he expects the home to be completed by September, pending approval of the state and county loans.

To operate, the facility must be certified by the state Office on Aging. Both the county and state will be responsible for monitoring the home.