March 5, 2015 – Steve Protulis, Executive Director of the Elderly Housing Development and Operations Corporation and Canton Mayor William Healy announced the development of a new affordable housing complex for seniors to be called “Bill Burga Terrace”.
Bill Burga, former president of the Ohio AFL-CIO, got his start in the trade union movement as a steelworker in Canton and has always stayed connected to the Hall of Fame city. “I am honored and surprised by the announcement and proud to be associated with EHDOC, Mayor Healy, the labor movement and this special Canton project,” Bill Burga said.
Joining President Burga for the announcement was Dennis Duffey, Executive Secretary, Ohio State Building and Construction Trades Council, Dave McCall, Director, USW District 1 and Norm Wernet, President of the Ohio Alliance for Retired Americans.
President Burga proclaimed that “Mayor Healy is doing a great thing for seniors and their housing needs and creating good union construction jobs in Canton. EHDOC is presented with many proposals around the country but it took Mayor Healy’s understanding, determination and passion to make this a reality.”
EHDOC plans to build a 60-unit in the 1500 block of Market Avenue N. Burga was president of the Ohio AFL-CIO.
“The average age of our seniors is 79 years old,” said Steve Protulis. “Every time we open a unit, there is going to be 10 seniors waiting to get that apartment. Right now, today, there are 1.7 million seniors in the country looking for a place to live.”
Mayor Healy agreed Canton is in need of affordable senior housing.
“The real need for this facility is that we have a tremendous amount of seniors in our community that need a quality place to live,” Mayor Healy said.
Securing financing for the Bill Burga Terrace will depend upon EHDOC’s obtaining tax credits from the Ohio Housing Finance Agency. It will also be built using local, union labor that we know will construct this complex with the dignity and safety standards these seniors deserve.
The program was held in the Mayfield Manor complex in the 3800 block of 11th Street SW. EHDOC operates Mayfield Manor, a housing complex for low-income elderly. Many of our elderly who are not lucky enough to get into a complex like Bill Burga Terrace are left with little to no options and live in horrid conditions. And the federal government is providing less resources for our seniors under Section 202, The Supportive Housing for the Elderly Program.
“There is no money for low-income seniors,” Protulis said. “I see places where they are going to
“I see places where they are going to live,” he said. “It will make you ashamed to be an American.”