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Company to expand senior housing in Lawrenceville

LAWRENCEVILLE - Some relief is on the way for low-income seniors searching for affordable housing.

Duluth-based Mansemar Inc. will receive $3.4 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to expand the company's Applewood complex. Applewood in Lawrenceville has about 175 apartments for low-income seniors, but all the units are filled.

Federal money will support 42 additional Applewood apartments - something the city of Lawrenceville lobbied for last October in a letter to Georgia Sen. Johnny Isakson. Applewood also will receive $602,000 in government rent subsidies to lower the costs of housing for its residents.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is the largest and most common source of funding for elderly housing. The department uses the Section 202 program, geared to increase the supply of affordable housing for seniors.

Most apartments in Gwinnett start at about $750, according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition. But rent in federally subsidized apartments for seniors can average just $250.

Gwinnett County has four senior housing centers under Section 202. One, Annandale at Suwanee, is only for disabled seniors.

The other Section 202 housing for the elderly includes:

•Applewood Towers, Lawrenceville, 100 apartments.

•Applewood II, Lawrenceville, 75 apartments.

•Gwinnett Christian Terrace, 125 apartments.

The federal money for Applewood is part of $14.5 million earmarked for Georgia this year to create housing for the elderly, disabled and poor.