By Carissa Woytach, United Way of Greater Cleveland Staff Writer
The Ohio Housing Finance Agency recently awarded five Cleveland housing projects with Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) for 2016. Organizations funded were the Cleveland Housing Network, Detroit Shoreway Community Development Corporation and The Community Builders.
United Way wrote a letter of support for the Slavic Village Green Homes project by Cleveland Housing Network. This letter stated that once the houses are built, United Way will support financial services for residents.
“Cleveland got five projects, which is great,” Daniel Hinman, director of income at United Way said. “We’ve had trouble securing them the last couple of years.”
Emerald Alliance X, another Cleveland Housing Network project, in partnership with EDEN Inc., is 60 permanent supportive housing solutions through Cuyahoga County’s Housing First initiative. The Housing First initiative works to reduce chronic homelessness by providing homes to long-term homeless individuals.
Ruth Gillett of the Office of Homeless Services led the Housing First initiative in Cuyahoga County, which has been one of the most successful in the country, Hinman said. It has effectively reduced chronic homelessness by 74 percent. The program provides individuals with stable housing, then connects them to on-site services, which are funded in-part by grants from United Way.
The tax credit will fund several other projects in the area. The Westerly, under the Cleveland Housing Network, will be 154 rehabbed senior-living apartments in Lakewood. Aspen Place, under the Detroit Shoreway Development Corporation, will be 40 affordable, transit-friendly apartments along West 65th Street and Lorain Road. Commodore Place apartments, by the Community Builders, will be 198 affordable rental units in University Circle.
These projects will be completed through a partnership with Enterprise Community Partners, which works to decrease the number of individuals facing burdening housing costs. Extreme housing burden is when 50 percent of income is going towards housing, Hinman said. Enterprise’s mission is to offer affordable rent and raise a person’s income through better jobs to increase their housing stability.
“Without these tax credits,” Hinman said, “[developers] couldn’t build these units to house the people that our funding services.”