Creative Housing will host an open house today (Oct. 30) for the Apartments at Stoneridge, a 10-unit apartment building for individuals with developmental disabilities.

Creative Housing will host an open house today (Oct. 30) for the Apartments at Stoneridge, a 10-unit apartment building for individuals with developmental disabilities.

Hours are 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Creative Housing is a nonprofit organization. Its stated mission is to provide safe, accessible and affordable housing to individuals with disabilities in the Columbus metropolitan area.

The company has earned national recognition for offering the disabled a wide range of housing options from single-family homes and duplexes to small apartment buildings.

The Apartments at Stoneridge development is the fifth of six projects over a six-year period to build accessible apartments for people with disabilities. The project is made possible through a community partnership with the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Franklin County Board of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities.

"What we will be serving primarily are people with mental retardation, many of whom use wheelchairs," Creative Housing president and chief executive officer Patrick Rafter said.

He said the location was part private in terms of being secluded but also adjacent to a mall, with recreation and employment opportunities.

Rafter said there is a screening process for residents to make sure the apartment is appropriate for them. There is also a wide range of support services, including balancing checkbooks and transportation to and from the doctor's office.

"The people living there are from this area of town," he said. "Part of our goal is to keep people connected to their home community rather than moving them somewhere else."

Rafter said the developmental-disabilities community has a large number of people living with aging parents whose options are limited.

"There just isn't a lot of safe, accessible and affording housing for people with disabilities," he said.

Creative Housing has 400 locations in central Ohio. Rafter said the organization tries to create an array of housing options, from single-family houses to apartments. There are 10 single-family homes in the Gahanna area.

Creative Housing has numerous clients, however, who don't want to share a single-family home with someone else and would rather live in a one-bedroom apartment.

The response to the apartments has been very good, Rafter said, adding that Creative Housing worked diligently with the Gahanna planning department to create a good product.

"They were extremely supportive," Rafter said. "They made some suggestions to us about the site. This has been a wonderful experience for us. This is a really nice development."

Creative Housing broke ground on the project more than seven months ago but began planning the project six to eight months prior to that to make sure that people in the community were comfortable with the project.

"I think it really paid off," Rafter said.

www.creativehousing.com