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

National Community Development Week 2017 — April 17-22: Celebrating the Important Work of CDBG and HOME

NAHRO, along with fellow members of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Coalition, will be celebrating National Community Development Week, April 17-22, 2017. Over the course of this week, communities across the country will celebrate the work of the CDBG Program and the HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) Program.

The CDBG program provides grants to over 1,200 state and local governments and funds activities such as housing rehabilitation, business assistance, senior services, and infrastructure – to name a few. These activities are primarily targeted to low-income persons and households. Every $1.00 of CDBG leverages another $3.65 in other funding; bringing additional resources to communities that support jobs, businesses and, most importantly, the people who live in these communities.

HOME provides grants to over 600 State and local governments to create safe, decent and affordable housing, both rental and homeowner. HOME is a vital federal housing program that allows communities to leverage $4.20 of public and private dollars for every HOME dollar invested.

CDBG and HOME have been proposed for elimination in the President’s FY 2018 HUD budget and National Community Development Week provides the opportunity for Congressional Members and the community to see first-hand the results of these programs by touring projects, meeting with state and local staff and interacting directly with beneficiaries served by the programs.

NAHRO is urging members a to participate in National Community Development Week by supporting local project tours, issuing proclamations, engaging and educating Congressional Members on the programs, and reaching out to the media to promote the impact of CDBG and HOME. Here’s what you can can do:

Learn

Advocate

  • Contact and engage with your members of Congress to schedule meetings and plan a site visit of a local projects to show how these programs have helped your community. Remember –  Congress is in recess through April 23 and lawmakers will be back in their districts
  • Send letters to your legislators using NAHRO’s pre-drafted Advocacy Action Center letter telling Congress to take action today to finalize FY 2017 spending and pass a full-year Transportation, Housing and Urban Development spending bill.
  • Join over 2,000 local, state and national organizations and sign on to the CDBG support letter seeking $3.3 billion for CDBG in FY 2018. This letter will be sent to Appropriations Committee leaders in May.

Spread the Word

  • Share your impact story by writing and submitting a Letter to the Editor or op-ed to your local newspaper. Make sure to mention your members of Congress so it gets picked up in their daily clips.
  • Join @NAHROnational on Twitter and elevate awareness of the need for – and the impact of – CDBG and HOME through tweets. Make sure to use the following hashtags: #CDBG #CDBGImpact #Fight4CDBG #HOME #HOMEImpact, and to tag your House and Senate representatives.
  • Follow and share the NAHRO Blog where we will post success stories of CDBG and HOME submitted by NAHRO members throughout week.

Connect with NAHRO

  • If your impact story was published in your local newspaper or you meet with your member of Congress, let us know! Please email Jenny Hsu at jhsu@nahro.org with a description of your advocacy efforts so that we can highlight your efforts with Congress once they are back in session.

CDBG Coalition Members: NAHRO, U.S. Conference of Mayors, National Association of Counties, National League of Cities, National Community Development Association, Council of State Community Development Agencies, National Association for County Community and Economic Development, National Association of Development Organizations, American Planning Association, Local Initiatives Support Corporation, Habitat for Humanity International, Feeding America, YWCA USA, Enterprise Community Partners, Rebuilding Together, National Recreation and Park Association, National Association of Regional Councils, National Urban League, International Economic Development Council, Heartland Alliance, The Trust for Public Land, and National Development Council