SHAMOKIN - A local high-rise will receive more than $200,000 in federal grant money to help keep elderly residents and those with disabilities living independently.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced Tuesday that Lincoln Towers apartment building will receive $225,247 through the agency's Multifamily Housing Service Coordinator Program.

"This is fantastic news," Darrel Dudeck, president of Lincoln Towers, said Wednesday. "This money will allow us to not only continue the work we are doing for our residents, but update and expand the work our service coordinator does."

Lincoln Towers's grant was part of $1.8 million awarded to seven properties in Pennsylvania.

The grants were awarded to eligible owners of private housing developments who receive rental subsidies from HUD to house low-income individuals. These property owners or their management companies either hire or contract service coordinators with backgrounds in providing social services, especially to the frail elderly and people with disabilities, to assist their residents with special needs.

"These service coordinators help us connect senior citizens and those living with disabilities with the services they need to live independently," said Jane Vincent, HUD's regional administrator. "We're getting older as a nation and these grants go a long way toward ensuring these vulnerable populations are well served and allowed to age in place."

The grant is designed for an initial three-year period to allow eligible owners of multifamily housing for the elderly or disabled to hire and support a service coordinator. The funds cover such costs as salary, benefits, quality assurance, training, office space, equipment and other related administrative expenses.

It's a service Lincoln Towers has already had in place and had been working on the grant application since early March.

"The funding for a service coordinator has come out of our pocket for a while now, so this grant is a big help," said Deborah Neagu, executive property manager for Community Realty Management, the managing agent for Lincoln Towers. "It will help us to give our residents the community services they need to live independently."