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Housing Homeless Populations With Local Government Funds.

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Presentation on theme: "Housing Homeless Populations With Local Government Funds."— Presentation transcript:

1 Housing Homeless Populations With Local Government Funds

2 Overview of Lennox Chase Wake County’s first permanent supportive housing community developed specifically for a homeless population 36 studio apartments completed 2003 Eligibility requirements: At or below 50%-30% Area Median Income (AMI) Monthly rent: varies between $425 to $373 On-site property manager and support services

3 Local Government Perspective: Selling Lennox Chase Process included educating County leaders about the needs of the homeless population  Homes for low- and very-low income groups had become a priority in County Housing Plans  This housing is eligible for CDBG, HOME, ESG, and HOPWA funds, but Lennox Chase saves money: income from rent, and support services located on site

4 Costs of Homelessness ServiceCost per UnitTotal Cost South Wilmington St. Shelter - 24 nights $23 per night$552 1 Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Transport $425, plus $5.75 mile$440 1 Emergency Department visit to a local hospital $893 1 Raleigh Police Department transport $61-$368$250 1 Wake County Human Services Crisis Assessment $176 1 stay at Dorothea Dix Hospital – 6 nights (average length of stay) $594 per night$3,564 Total Approximate Monthly Costs $5,875 Source: “Ending Homelessness: The Ten Year Action Plan”

5 Truths about Homelessness 1,000 persons are homeless on any given night in Wake County 2,000 persons are homeless on any given night in the Triangle region 3,300 different persons experience homelessness in Wake county during year Fair Market Rent for a one-bedroom apartment is $715 per month in Wake County

6 Working with the Developer Lennox Chase was part of a request for proposals process Developed by DHIC (Downtown Housing Improvement Corporation) and owned by an affiliate Cost was higher for the County than for other developments: subsidy had to be greater since the incoming population had less money to pay rent Strong Partnerships  An essential component in a risky project: make sure you have faith in your partners  We, as funders are responsible for assuring elected officials and the community that all partners will fulfill their commitments and deliver what they promise

7 The Importance of Support Services Support Services must be available for tenants to make the housing successful  At Lennox Chase, on-site support services were the answer  In other developments, on-site services may not be needed Tenant issues can be addressed before they turn into problems at the development Provides a level of responsibility by the County as funders

8 Useful Lessons Learned at Lennox Chase Education…  The link that ties everything together  Building understanding between elected officials and community members that the incoming populations are people trying to help themselves  Educating the public must be ongoing

9 Savings to County/State Jordan Institute for Families at UNC-CH School of Social Work Analyzed costs of providing services 2 years prior to occupancy at Lennox Chase. 29% savings

10 Additional Wake County Successes Lennox Chase led to more affordable housing in Wake County

11 Affordable Housing since Lennox Chase Epiphany House: 4 units Hopecrest: 10 units

12 Affordable Housing since Lennox Chase Carlton Street: 10 units Franklin Woods: 14 families

13 Affordable Housing Impact Since 1994, Wake County’s housing program has made funding commitments for 1,874 rental units  1,179 affordable to families earning < $30,000 annually  211 dedicated for homeless individuals In addition, the program has made available 180 housing vouchers for homeless individuals

14 Developer Perspective: About DHIC Formed in 1974 Key business lines  Rental development: 20 communities previous to Lennox Chase. Now 29 with 1,300+ apartments  Homeownership development -Lot developers. 68 units at Meadowcreek, 48 townhouse lots in Cary  Homeownership education and counseling: 372 in classes and 192 first time buyers  Community Services

15 Developer Perspective New concept for all concerned Lack of experience serving population Hard to sell to local elected officials  High amount of subsidy per unit compared to “traditional” affordable housing development  High total cost per unit Equity investor insisted on outside consultant familiar with permanent supportive housing Equity investor required conservative and different underwriting

16 Refining Development Concept Collaboration from agencies offering transitional housing and substance abuse programming, etc. Expertise from outside Involve property management company early in the process Document plan and procedures to make sure everybody is on the same page

17 Design Features of Lennox Chase Architectural style: “big house” appearance from the street and not institutional Included common meeting area and kitchen for social events, smoking porch, business center with internet access, elevator, common laundry facility Security enhanced by having electronic entry system into the building and cameras in common areas

18 Design Features of Lennox Chase Studio apartments, 500 square feet Universal design All utilities included Common hallways with monitored entrance adjacent to management office Smoke free in all common areas

19 Economics Rents ranging from $373-$425 including utilities. No mortgages to pay Rents cover operating costs in early years Large reserve to cover deficits; $343,000 Tax credit property; $1.5 million in equity raised Low-cost loans from City, County, FHLB of Atlanta and NeighborWorks America; $1.6 million total Property is performing ahead of expectations

20 Challenges “First cost” to local government financing partners is high because:  Low rents  Large reserves  Commitment of on-site support services Inherent conflicts between property management and social services objectives Politically acceptable locations with transit and close to employment centers

21 What We Have Learned as Developer/Owner Successful model that should be replicated Given size of complex, on-site social worker is critical Need for expanded common spaces  Exercise room  Private meeting space  Larger pantry area for donations Stronger link to and better follow up from referral agencies would be helpful

22 New Opportunities Brookridge Apartments Wake County awarded a low-interest loan of $600,000 to DHIC for a 40-unit studio apartment development in Raleigh.

23 New Opportunities Brookridge Apartments (continued)  30 units of housing affordable to people earning less than $20,040 a year.  10 units will be affordable to people earning less than $25,050 a year.  On-site property manager, social worker, and resident manager (2BR non-revenue unit)  Wake County subsidy: $20,000 per unit. Wake County will maintain a lien on the property for 30 years.  Located in walking distance to a bus stop and various places of employment

24 Social Worker Perspective-Why has Lennox Chase been Successful Second Chance Program  Considers applicants for tenancy that have barriers to conventional housing.  Standard property manager approval process  If rejected, social worker reviews credit & criminal issues on a case-by-case basis.  May recommend “second chance” to management company if there is evidence that individual has turned things around and is addressing negative patterns.

25 Social Worker Perspective- Why has Lennox Chase been Successful Commitment from Interested Parties  Owners, Management, Staff & Community Partners work together to assist tenants in maintaining their permanent housing & self-sufficiency  Follow-up services/support from referring agencies, especially during initial transition period  Permanent housing but not conventional

26 Social Worker Perspective- Why has Lennox Chase been Successful Commitment from Interested Parties (cont’d)  Creativity & flexibility are needed to balance the needs of the individual with the bottom line  Communication with partners, sharing information and feedback; being pro-active not reactive  Appropriate referrals to Lennox Chase

27 Social Worker Perspective-Why has Lennox Chase been Successful Tenant Buy-In  Form Tenants Advisory Committee  Hold monthly tenants meeting  Elect Community Watch captain  Community events, bingo, movies & holiday celebrations  On-site NA/AA meetings  Tenant newsletter

28 Residents 84% of residents were chronically homeless 83% of residents have history of substance abuse; 44% mental illness 37% dual diagnosis 67% of residents are employed full-time average income is $16,000 25% of residents are originals from 2003

29 Awards & Recognition 2004, Charles L. Edison Tax Credit Excellence Award from the Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition, Washington, DC. Best Special Needs Project of the Year Summer 2005, Lennox Chase Community featured in Bright Ideas, the NeighborWorks America magazine October 2005, Sir Walter Raleigh Community Appearance Award, City of Raleigh Fall 2006, Housing North Carolina Award, NC Housing Finance Agency

30 Questions/More Information Annemarie Maiorano, Director, Housing and Community Revitalization, Wake County, (919) 856-5268 Gregg Warren, President, DHIC, (919) 832-4345, ext 3005 Ed Stelli, Supportive Housing Team, (919) 754-8893

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