Crews broke ground Friday morning on an affordable housing development in the Town of Cicero, but here’s the twist: it’s not just for people 55 and older. 

They say home is where the heart is — but for some in Onondaga County — finding a safe, affordable place to live has become a struggle.

“We have a lot of seniors in need,” said Cicero Town Supervisor, Mark Venesky. “They won’t tell you they’re in need, but they’re in need nonetheless.”

Spring Village is a first step in chipping away at that challenge and giving back to those who helped build the community we live in today. “It’s our job to take care of the most vulnerable,” said Ryan McMahon, incoming County Executive for Onondaga.

Shovels have officially hit the soil, and in October 2019 Onondaga County will see the first of its kind duel housing, serving both older adults and with people with developmental disabilities. 

“A lot of parents as they grow older if they have a developmental disabled child, worries what’s going to happen when they’re not around to take care of the child,” said President and CEO of Cayuga Centers, Edward Hayes.

It’s something members of the planning board have seen first hand. “My aunt has the same struggle of wondering what happens when she’s gone, so this is an important service and it’s a great project,” said McMahon.

The two story building along the vacant plot of land on Knowledge Lane in Cicero will house 50 units total. Ten will cater to those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The other 40 will be specifically made for independent seniors.

“We will never do a program that we won’t go and serve our own children in because everybody we serve deserves what we would give to our family members and our loved ones,” said Hayes.

The goal of the project is to give peace of mind to families and make sure their loved ones are safe.

The $12.9 million project is being developed by CDS Monarch Inc. and funded by a number of organizations aimed at providing low-income housing and helping people with disabilities.

Rent will range from $565 to $850 a month — targeting households with incomes below 67 percent of the area’s median income.