Known initially for its booming steel Industry and manufacturing plants that credit the majority of it’s success to Cleveland’s nearby waterways. Cleveland has just under 400,000 residents, whereby certain parts of Cleveland was in desperate need of a real estate overhaul due to the growth of its homeless population. More specifically among a segmented group of the homeless population – the disabled and the special needs population. Thankfully there are organizations such as EDEN short for The Emerald Development and Economic Network, and the HOUSINGfirst of the Cleveland/Cuyahoga County Office of Homeless Services, (both of which are explained in more detail below) who has gone to bat for this population. The have formed partnerships with other organizations to ensure that this segmented population receives the housing and supportive services that they need.
With more than $17 billion that has gone into capital developments within the Cleveland area within the past several years, now, according to Affordable Housing Finance, $9.6 million will be invested into low-income housing programs through a Low Income Tax Credit Equity designed to assist finance some of Cleveland’s most needed housing development projects. The Tax Credit is being provided by KeyBank whereby 66 units will be developed.
These developments are designed to serve the most chronically homeless individuals located within the Cuyahoga County of the Cleveland area.
The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) is a primary program provided by the federal government. Its purpose is designed to encourage the investment of private equity into the development of more affordable rental housing to benefit low-income households.
Inez Killingsworth Place will be the name given to Emerald Alliance IX. The development project will consist of a total of 66 units complete with additional supportive services for individuals that earn less than the medium for that area. So, incomes can be as low as 30%, 50%, or 60% lower than the medium income level.
This particular project will be the ninth permanent supportive housing project in a combined effort with the Cuyahoga County HOUSINGfirst Initiative, which is made possible by the Cleveland Housing Network, the largest Community Development Organization in the North East Ohio area. It is also joined by The Emerald Development and Economic Network (EDEN) which is another organization known for advocating homelessness and housing issues on behalf of low-income individuals that also suffer from disabilities or other special needs who are in danger of homelessness.
HOUSINGfirst has been an advocate for the homeless population since April of 2002. They were established specifically to launch an initiative to offer permanent housing solutions to disabled individuals who are also threatened with the likelihood of long-term homelessness.
The initiative has been established to address the roughly 20% of the homeless population within Cleveland’s emergency shelters who are long-term homeless individuals. It is this population that also has more obvious physical health disabilities or other behavioral challenges.
More than 20% of the long-term homeless population are veterans, which is a much higher percentage than the overall national average.
The HOUSINGfirst Initiative is a strong supporter of the Permanent Supportive Housing Model which thrives on providing “housing first” – whereby they move people to stable housing facilities, followed by linking them with key services that are available on an as-needed basis, right on site.
The primary goal of HOUSINGfirst’s is to create an adequate amount of stable, permanent supportive housing units in an effort to end chronic homelessness in the County of Cuyahoga. They are responsible for 710 units currently being occupied and /or in development through the utilizing of 12 buildings.
EDEN is no stranger to this type of housing effort. They celebrated their 25th Anniversary in April and are sticklers for ensuring that their mission of providing housing to some of the most vulnerable families and individuals are fulfilled. They have not changed their mission or their efforts within the past 25 years. In fact, they have expanded their efforts and growth exponentially.
EDEN has a strong background in providing housing programs for the homeless. When they joined forces with the Cuyahoga County HOUSINGfirst Initiative through the Cleveland Housing Network, they brought years of experience with them.
They opened their first Permanent Supportive Housing building some 10 years ago. More recently they have combined forces with Housing First where they are responsible for opening its ninth Permanent Supportive Housing building with a focus on providing housing to 66 individuals with disabilities to include 25 veterans at the Commons at West Village.
The good thing about this program is that it has a model that is designed to prioritize making housing possible for homeless individuals as soon as possible.
According to Robert likes, the national manager of KeyBank’s Community Development Land and Investment Group, they have taken a strong dedication and interest in providing assistance in communities where they live and work.
Another good thing about the Emerald Alliance IX is that the project will be a green based community project. First of all, it will be located in an area known as the Union Miles Park Neighborhood. This area has easy access to a host of community amenities to include public transportation. Second, there will also be both secure pedestrian and vehicular access, as well as a property management service that will be provided by EDEN. The facility will also include a 24-hour front desk security.
The program participants have thought this program through to make sure it supports the needs of its residents. As a result, it will also include supportive services that can be offered to the individual residents right on site through its FrontLine Service, whose purpose is to coordinate the supportive services.
According to an EDEN director, the affordable housing project in low-income neighborhoods is said to provide growth and prosperity to this community. They are confident that this model will be effective, considering the previous permanent supportive housing development projects that were developed prior to this one.
The hope is that this is just one more of many other permanent supportive housing development projects to come.