Tuesday, December 14, 2010

In St. Louis, $5.7 million housing development for homeless, mentally ill people breaks ground

From the St. Louis Business Journal:

State Treasurer Clint Zweifel and Places for People broke ground Dec. 9 on Places at Page in St. Louis, Missouri’s first affordable housing development funded by the state’s housing commission specifically targeted to alleviate homelessness among people with mental illness.

The $5.7 million, historic renovation at 5235 Page Blvd. will provide 23 residential apartments equipped with on-site staff and outdoor space for community use. Once completed in late 2011, the project will have provided 71 construction jobs and eight full-time positions.

“More than 75 percent of our new clients come to our agency homeless and living with an untreated mental illness,” Places for People Executive Director Francie Broderick said. “Housing developments like Places at Page will help address this problem and serve this often forgotten group of people.”

Places at Page funding partners include the housing commission, Department of Mental Health, The Sidney R. Baer Foundation, The Dennis M. Jones Family Foundation, The J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation, The Horncrest Foundation, St. Louis Equity Fund, M&I Bank, Pulaski Bank, St. Michael Houses and Marilyn and Robert Cooper. Places at Page’s location at 5235 Page Boulevard has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1984.

It is estimated each night in Missouri, more than 6,000 people are homeless This summer, Zweifel called on the Missouri Housing Development Commission to address this issue by setting aside $127 million, or one-third of federal and state tax credits for the development of housing for people with special needs. The housing commission approved a version of his plan that includes funding for at least two housing developments in 2011 focused on chronically homeless individuals, those suffering from mental illness or Missourians with a physical or developmental disability, and youth aging out of foster care.

The State Low Income Housing Tax Credit, one of Missouri’s largest tax programs, would go under the knife based on recommendations proposed last month by Gov. Jay Nixon's Tax Credit Review Commission.