There was good news and bad news when David Uram and David Burg learned in June of 2009 about their application for Low Income Housing Tax Credits from the State of Ohio. The owners of
, an affordable housing development firm, were seeking to develop a 44-unit housing project on Euclid Avenue in MidTown called Church Square Commons.
The good news was that they'd been awarded tax credits for the project. PIRHL has completed 24 successful projects in five states in the past seven years.
The bad news was that the tax credits were worth at least 20 percent less than they had been before the recession, ripping a giant hole in the project proforma and making it impossible to continue without securing additional funding.
That funding came in the form of about $1.8 million in federal stimulus dollars and $600,000 in Housing Trust Fund dollars from the City of Cleveland. The developers broke ground on Church Square Commons in November 2010 and completed it a year later. PIRHL is hosting a dedication ceremony with Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson and other dignitaries and community partners on April 20th.
"This project provides much-needed affordable housing development in the City of Cleveland," says Uram. "Many low-income seniors fall behind in maintaining their homes and can't keep up. The project has also removed significant blight along Euclid Avenue, and helped facilitate redevelopment of the area."
The 44-unit project contains many green, sustainable features, including high-efficiency insulation that cuts down on heating bills for tenants. It also contains 4,000 square feet of common areas, including a hair salon, fitness center and community rooms, some of which are accessible to non-residents.
Uram, who helped found the company in his partner's basement and has a background in nonprofit community development, says affordable housing is a critical piece of redeveloping neighborhoods. "As we gentrify neighborhoods, folks in Cleveland need a place to live," he says. "It's a critical piece of the urban fabric."
Source: David Uram
Writer: Lee Chilcote