Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- What was once a run-down, boarded up house in a northeast Columbia neighborhood is now making history.
The old, abandoned home in the 3000 block of Judy Street was once on a list to be demolished. After months of renovation, the building is now South Carolina's first Senior SmartHOME.
"You would have probably even laughed at us when we told you what our plans were for this particular property," said Shaun Owens, Director for Strategy and Innovation for the USC SmartHOME Center for Economic Excellence.
The Senior SmartHOME became a reality thanks to a partnership between the non-profit SC Uplift Community Outreach, Palmetto Health and USC.
"I think now when you walk in the door, you'll be met with a certain amount of promise," said Owens.
It's a 2 bedroom/1 bath home of the future. It features energy efficient appliances, slip resistant floors, wide doors and an automated security system.
"[Homeowners will] be able to go through an app to turn the lock on and off," said Kevin Wimberly, President & CEO of SC Uplift Community Outreach.
Wimberly says the home will be ADA compliant, including pull-down shelving in the kitchen to make it easy for seniors to live comfortably.
"As well as the roll-in shower for someone who has the wheelchair to be able to go right into the shower," said Wimberly.
The house is catered to to those who can't afford assisted living care, with the goal of helping them age in place.
"Being able to provide this home where they're able to age in place is just something that we greatly envisioned and we're excited," said Wimberly.
Through Telehealth at Palmetto Health, homeowners will also be able to talk with their doctor in the comfort of their home.
"What we're doing is creating technology and programs that are very easy for older adults to use regardless of how proficient they are with technology," said Amelia Bischoff, with Telehealth at Palmetto Health.
Through a TV screen, patients can refill medications, get a diagnosis, and experience medical educational opportunities.
"With providers having busy, packed schedules, maybe not being able to fit patients in at the last minute, this provides a different avenue for patients to receive care," said Dr. Christopher Gainey of Palmetto Health, as we interviewed him using the home's Telehealth technology Friday.
SC UpLift Community Outreach plans to build a similar project in the future. Eventually, they're hoping to evolve this concept into a "smart village" community for seniors who qualify.
SC Uplift Community Outreach is taking applications now from seniors who qualify to live in the home. You must be 62 or older, living at 60% or below the area median income.
To learn how you can apply to live in the SmartHOME, call (803) 691-4742 or click here.
Founded in 2008, SC Uplift Community Outreach is a federally exempt community development corporation that provides affordable housing for low to moderate income individuals and families. Since 2009, they have received approximately $726,000 to develop and provide various affordable housing projects in the midlands region of South Carolina.
The non-profit has also been able to assist approximately 60 seniors with home repairs to maintain the health and safety of their homes.