HOME Impact Story in Lawrence, Kansas

During National Community Development Week, April 17-22, NAHRO celebrates the hard work of communities across the country by sharing Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) impact stories, highlighting the importance of these federal affordable housing and community development programs at the local level.

Project name Cedarwood Senior Cottages

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Location and District Lawrence, Kansas (KS-02)
Project Year Construction completed 2015-2016. Leased up by March 2017
Project Description Built by Tenants to Homeowners, Inc. (a nonprofit CHDO) and community partners, Cedarwood is an innovative affordable senior housing complex with 14 individual cottages, including 10 with garages, and a community room in the heart of the property. There are 9 two-bedroom units and 5 one-bedroom units that are fully accessible, Energy-Star 3 certified, and use health and safety smart technology (a smart sensor system can track movement in the home and the community room includes a touch screen kiosk that provide residents with helpful information and resources). All these features are meant to allow seniors to age in place.

Cedarwood meets a local housing need for middle-income seniors who want to remain independent but earn too much to live in a subsidized home and not enough to afford a senior living facility. According to local news coverage of Cedarwood, “[t]he need for affordable senior housing is only likely to increase, with the baby boomer generation reaching retirement age. An estimated 10,000 Americans will turn 65 every day through 2029. Meanwhile, a local retiree attraction task force in 2012 identified affordable senior housing as a need in the community.” Cedarwood can serve as a model for future senior housing projects in the community.

Use of HOME HOME funds were used for construction.
Target Population Elderly (62+), 9 HOME units with 4 targeted at below 50% and 5 targeted below 60%. The remaining 5 units target 60-80% median family income.
HOME Funds $167,000 from City of Lawrence HOME funds and $525,000 from State Kansas HOME funds.
Other Funds $260,000 lot donation (1.3 acres) from Douglas County, Kansas; $100,000 from City of Lawrence fee waivers and in-kind infrastructure; $600,000 CHDO equity from Tenants to Homeowners, Inc.; $420,000 in Federal Home Loan Bank Affordable Housing Program funds; $500,000 construction and permanent loan financing from Truity Credit Union.
Jobs Created $2.3 million project using all local vendors, 3 temporary jobs created for 24 months (Davis Bacon did not apply).
Project Impact Cedarwood currently serves 13 households with 16 seniors and the project has added value to the local Qualified Census Tract. Furthermore, the project puts senior housing in a central location with available public transportation, services, and shopping. Cedarwood also demonstrates how smart technology can be used to help seniors age in place and save the community in unnecessary early assisted care expenses.

The project also improved the use of a vacant infill lot that sits next to a nonprofit incubator building; providing independent living and a senior community within a residential neighborhood that links to senior services that are offered by nonprofits. This allows for intergenerational activities and senior social interaction as well as shared services.

Quote from a beneficiary: “It is been really nice. My dog Daisy is really happy here and we are able to take walks in the neighborhood and stay active.” -Holly Holbert, resident since July 1, 2016.

Contact Rebecca Buford, Executive Director, TTH, Inc. rbufordefird@yahoo.com 785-760-2058

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