East Montpelier Senior Living Initiative (EMSLI)

Started in 2005, EMSLI grew from the concerns of a group of local residents that older citizens of East Montpelier who no longer could afford or maintain their homes were having to leave East Montpelier to seek residence elsewhere. After several meetings to consider various ways to help these people and uncovering a number of already existing resources, the group incorporated as the East Montpelier Senior Living Initiative (EMSLI), to continue exploring alternative approaches to assistance, including the construction of affordable rental housing for seniors.

The Mission Statement of EMSLI is:

To promote the preservation and creation of safe and affordable housing opportunities for senior citizens within our town.

To realize its goals, EMSLI may:

  • develop and execute a plan to raise awareness among the citizens of East Montpelier regarding programs and services available to aid seniors living in existing housing
  • seek and accept gifts, grants, and loans
  • acquire land and building to develop and manage housing facilities.

In early 2006, EMSLI conducted a written survey of local opinion. More than 175 people of all ages shared their opinions and suggestions about housing options for senior citizens in our town. Ideas ranged from creating senior apartments to developing intergenerational co-housing to providing services that would help seniors stay in their own homes.

Home maintenance, transportation needs, and cost were high on the list of concerns for most people. More than half said they would prefer help to stay in their own homes as they age. The largest response (84%) was “Yes” to the question “Do you think there is a need for assistance for seniors in East Montpelier?” Virtually the same proportion (83%) said “Yes” there is a need for senior housing in East Montpelier. Of the 26% who said “No” or were uncertain about whether they would spend the rest of their lives in East Montpelier, almost half (41%) said that they would stay in town if suitable housing were available.

EMSLI meets as needed on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month at the Town Offices. Everyone is welcome to attend.

For more information, please contact:

Ross Hazel, rhazel@ezcloud.com