West Side Homes project creates low income housing

(Plain Press, November 2005) Four historic apartment buildings in the Detroit Shoreway and Ohio City neighborhoods will now be able to provide low income housing to neighborhood residents for many years to come as a result the $8.6 million West Side Homes Project.

 The West Side Homes Project is a unique, four-year collaborative effort between local development corporations, housing groups, the city of Cleveland, the public housing agency, social service agencies, charities and a variety of other public and private funding sources. Their collective efforts have resulted in allowing two buildings to continue to provide affordable housing to low-income residents, plus the renovation of two additional vacant buildings to provide affordable low-income housing.

 The project provides 52 units of housing and 7 renovated commercial storefronts. Buildings in the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood are the Bank Building at 6503 Detroit Avenue and the Dehner Building at 1403 W. 65th. The other two buildings are the Miller Building at 3200 Lorain Avenue and the Clinton Building at 3507 Clinton Avenue, both in Ohio City.

 Thirteen of the housing units target families with incomes less than $2,000 a year; rents on these units are $50 per month. Twenty-five units are reserved for families with incomes from 30-50% of the area median income ($13,520 -$16-240.) Rents on these units range from $204-$304 per month. Eleven of the units are targeted to families making 50% of the area median income ($18,920 to $21,080), renting at $375-$425 per month. The remaining three units are at market rate, with rents of $375 - $425 per month.

 Thirty-eight of the 52 units are designated as replacement housing units for individuals displaced by the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority’s Carver Park HOPE VI Project.

 The West Side Homes project is designed to help stem the loss of low-income housing in the two neighborhoods, where housing units that had traditionally provided low income housing have been destroyed or converted to housing that is unaffordable to low income Cleveland residents.

 At an October 11th ceremony at the Gordon Square Arcade announcing the West Side Homes Project, Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization Executive Director Jeff Ramsey said the value of the average home in the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood had risen from $16,500 in 1970 to $70,000 today. “Since 1990, the percentage of families with incomes less than $15,00 has declined by one-third in the Detroit –Shoreway neighborhood. Projects like West Side Homes are incredibly important to providing affordable housing for low-income families and maintaining a mixed income, diverse neighborhood,” said Ramsey.

 Co-developers of the West Side Homes project are Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization, Ohio City Near West Development Corporation, Cleveland Housing Network and the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority. In addition, Tremont West Development Corporation will be involved in managing the two buildings in the Ohio City neighborhood.

 Project funding for the West Side Homes project came from the following sources: The Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority, United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, Key Bank, Enterprise Social Investment Corporation, Ohio Housing Finance Agency, City of Cleveland, Ohio Department of Development, Village Capital Corporation, St. Malachi, Community Development Finance Fund, City of Cleveland Storefront Renovation Program and the Sisters of Charity Foundation.

 The project secured financing in 2002 and began to purchase the properties. The Sisters of Charity and the West Side Rental Housing Collaborative were involved in staffing, coordinating and funding the predevelopment planning of the project.


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