A groundbreaking ceremony took place May 24 on the site, which is on State Street between Riley Street and Roosevelt Avenue. The project is being labeled an affordable housing development as grant funding mandates those who live in the townhouses will make less than 60 percent of the area median income.
“Because of the generosity of our partners, there are going to be families who live and thrive here,” said Linda Jacobs, executive director of Good Samaritan.
“State Street Townhomes” will be ready for occupancy in early 2019, Jacobs said. There are two three-bedroom units and two one-bedroom units in the four-plex.
Good Samaritan is working with Lakeshore Habitat for Humanity on the development, forming a new partnership called Third Coast Homes. Good Samaritan will serve as the manager of the property and provide supportive services to tenants with the idea of getting them toward home ownership.
“The idea behind this is it gives us an opportunity to walk with people who need affordable housing for a longer period of time,” Wilkinson said. “We walk with them through financial planning and home maintenance and all of that.”
As an organization Good Samaritan works to connect lower income or impoverished people with affordable housing in the area. The development, Jacobs previously told the Sentinel, is in response to the difficulty finding this type of housing in the area.
Tenants of the new development will not spend more than 30 percent of their income on rent. A $500,000 grant mandates the renting of the property must continue this way for 15 years.
Jacobs and Don Wilkinson, executive director of Lakeshore Habitat, thanked the supporters of the project, including sponsor PNC Bank, local industries, community organizations and private donors.
Currently, Jacobs said, Third Coast Homes is looking for a larger plot of land in order to create a mixed-income development with more community partners.
“Housing is the first step,” she said. “The rest is a launching pad.”