Approved by the Fauquier County Board of Supervisors in 2012, the Mintbrook Development is now taking in residents. Located off of Route 17, the units are designed for the 55 plus population and include amenities like a community garden and health education. Not an assisted living project, Mintbrook fosters independent living for seniors who want to have their own place.
Aging in place is an issue that Tracy Doran is passionate about. At the helm of the Humanities Foundation, Doran has a 25 year history of developing the highest quality affordable and workforce housing possible. Currently they have some 2,000 units in four states including South Carolina, Louisiana, Georgia and Virginia. Not only building structures, Doran hopes to enhance the lives of their residents through affordability, education and advocacy. A partnership with Lord Fairfax Community College will enable nursing students to visit the units offering instruction on healthy nutrition, diet and ways to control chronic diseases like diabetes.
Doran believes that she has come full circle. Hailing from a background as a nurse and working in critical care and emergency medicine for 14 years, she melded that with her husband’s real estate company. Projects can be partially funded through a state’s Low Income Housing Tax Credits program.
Doran has found Virginia to be a particularly good state to work with. They have existing units already in operation in Staunton (Waterford Village Apartments), Prince George (Puddledock Place) and Montague Terrace in Stuart’s Draft.
Doran has a tough challenge as whenever the words ‘affordable’ or ‘workforce’ comes up, the immediate perception is one of Nimbyism (not in my backyard) or Section 8 type housing and that property values will be affected. That is not the case at all.
Having affordable and visually pleasing housing for seniors and working families is a national issue.
What Doran finds most rewarding are the individual personalities of each of their projects. “People move in and they don’t leave,” says Doran who accepts the span of time when a project is first envisioned to ultimate completion – a process that can take years.
With Mintbrook recently completed, Doran is looking for other properties that would be suitable.
“Mintbrook is located in a beautiful area, I hope that people will take the time to check them out.”
In South Carolina, the Sustaining Seniors Aging in Place Program (part of Humanities Foundation) is one that includes Telehealth/Telemedicine, an emerging field of medicine that provides remote monitoring so that patients don’t have to deal with continual office programs. It’s this type of innovative approach to senior living and health that Doran seeks to promote.