Cambey offers senior housing

Senior citizens looking for a place to live now have an easier task when they go looking for Cambey Apartments in Coupeville.

The facility, owned by Senior Services of Whidbey Island, offers 50 cozy apartments, but it has been difficult to locate despite being on the main drag leading into Coupeville, just across from the hospital.

“The old sign blended in very nicely with the bushes and the trees,” said Mike McIntyre, Senior Services director.

Staff maintenance man Larry Keen solved the problem by creating a new sign. He started with two, six-foot long cedar planks. He then cut out letters and painted them a bright blue, and gave them a yellow background. Combined with a new location on the lawn next to the street, the sign makes it difficult to miss Cambey.

The facility also has a new manager in Brad Musgrove, who takes over from Lou Cohen who left to manage the Bayview Thrift Shop, another Senior Services endeavor.

Musgrove said Cambey is virtually full at the moment, but seniors in need of housing are encouraged to look at the facilities. Call 678-4886. The units are subsidized. Depending on income, the monthly rent can cost as much as $516 or as little as the $25 per month that one tenant is presently paying.

McIntyre said the occupancy rate is usually 97 percent, but “it’s a hot and cold thing.” Five years ago there were several vacancies, but the facility has been improved since then with painting, carpeting, curtains, lighting, plants, and, most recently, an new gas stove to keep the dining room toasty. Meals are served at Cambey four days a week at noon, and one evening a week. Each unit has one bedroom, a kitchen, bathroom, and living/dining area.

Although Cambey is Senior Services’ only senior housing facility in Island County, McIntyre said it meets the immediate demand for low income senior housing. But in the future he expects another facility will be needed, and will most likely be located on South Whidbey.

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