News Local/State

Loan Secured for New Kind of Senior Housing in St. Joseph


A non-profit group starting up a new kind of housing for seniors has secured the funding to start construction.

Based in the Champaign County community of St. Joseph, The Abbeyfield Society has secured a $1.4 million loan from Barclays Bank of England to break ground this month.  Completion is slated for early next summer.

When that happens, Abbeyfield will have its first U.S. location, to go with those in other countries, including Great Britain, Canada, and South Africa. 

Abbeyfield Society Chairman Susan Frobish says it’s taken nearly 12 years to see things to this point. 

The home is meant for relatively healthy people and couples who still want to maintain some independence, but can remain active in the community as well. 

"And the big picture is to do lots of these in different areas," she said.  "So St. Joseph has theirs.  You don't have to be from St. Joe, but the idea is you're not leaving the hometown, or if it's a bigger city like Champaign-Urbana, you might have more than one in different neighborhoods.  So you're still amongst family and friends.  You're not leaving the neighborhood that you love living in."

Abbyfield House in St. Joseph will consist of 10 suites or apartments, with guest rooms.  A couple of the units have already been claimed.

Frobish says the loan will be paid off through refinancing, donor gifts, and resident fees.