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Norfolk, VA (November 16, 2021) – On Thursday, Hayden Village Center was recognized with a Virginia Housing Award for Best Affordable Housing Development at the Virginia Governor’s Housing Conference. It is the result of a partnership between Senior Services of Southeastern Virginia and Luna Development Partners LLC.

Recognized for its innovation and effective design, Hayden Village Center is the historic rehabilitation of the former Hayden High School and Jr. High School, located in Franklin, Virginia. All 28 affordable apartments are for older adults with access to daily meals and wrap-around services. The project includes more than 17,000 square feet of rentable commercial and civic space, a healthy food pantry, a medical clinic, as well as the Della Hayden Memorial Garden, and an inter-generational raised bed community garden. It also serves as the Western Tidewater hub for all Senior Services programs, including long-term care services, benefits counseling, nutrition education, a senior wellness center, inter-generational programming, and the nonprofit organization’s I-Ride Transit dispatch.

The building is named after Della Hayden, who founded the first school for African American students there in 1904. Prior to its historic renovation, the building was once the only new high school for African American youth in the City of Franklin, and it played a key role in desegregating the educational system in Virginia. In partnership with Luna Development, Senior Services of Southeastern Virginia transformed the existing structure into a unique, multi-faceted facility that continues to embody Della’s legacy for community, education, and progress.

“We are so proud of this project and the impact Hayden Village Center is having on the Franklin community,” said Steve Zollos, chief executive officer for Senior Services. “It is an honor to be able to further Della Hayden’s legacy, along with our mission of keeping older adults healthy, active, and engaged.”

As of August 2021, all 28 units of Hayden Village Center’s affordable senior apartments are now leased. According to Senior Services, demand for units continues to grow, and they anticipate a waitlist as word gets out about the 55+ Senior Living affordable housing and amenities that support social determinants of health for older adults. Having units leased at full capacity helps promote long-term sustainability for not only the housing complex but for the wrap-around services Senior Services provides onsite.