Colfax Family Homes in Kinsman reaches halfway mark in completion, celebrates with ribbon cutting

The long-awaited Burten, Bell Carr Development’s affordable housing project, Colfax Family Homes, has reached a milestone and the CDC is ready to celebrate with a ribbon cutting ceremony today, Wednesday, Aug. 25.

Half of the 36 single family homes in the project are now completed and occupied, says Burten, Bell, Carr (BBC) executive director Joy Johnson, and the remaining 18 homes are in-process. “We’re moving folks in as we finish construction,” she says. “They should be done by the end of the year.”

The three- and four-bedroom homes are a mix of ranch-style, ADA compliant styles,  Colonials, and some unique three-story models. The homes range between 1,850 and 2,740 square feet.

Colfax Family Homes are on a scattered site on Colfax Road and Minnie Avenue, just down the street from the BBC offices at 7201 Kinsman Road.

Johnson says they have had a waiting list since construction began late in 2020. “We had tons of calls before we were even finished,” she says. “When we first saw houses going up, we got calls and had a waiting list.”

The Colfax homes have been a BBC project since 2015, when the CDC developed a master plan for the Central and Kinsman neighborhoods.

The project received a $6.4 million construction loan from KeyBank Community Development Lending and Investment and received a Low Income House Tax Credit (LIHTC) from the Ohio Housing Finance Agency.

Johnson says low- to moderate-income residents who fall within the guidelines of the LIHTC—making 50% or lower of the area median income—are eligible for financing, with home ownership after 15 years.

But Johnson points out the houses, designed by RDL Architects and built by Orlean Company, are not the homes people typically think of with low-income housing. But she says affordable housing is a much-needed asset in the areas BBC serves.

“During the housing boom of the late 90s and early 2000s, we were able to provide a lot of opportunities for home ownership, and the neighborhood had about one-third of the low-income housing in Cleveland, but we didn’t have a lot of low-income single-family homes in the neighborhood,” she says. “The goal is that when people look at these houses, they don’t say, ‘oh, these are low-income houses.’”

Johnson adds that BBC focuses on developing affordable, quality homes, educating potential buyers on home ownership, and working with reliable lenders. “Fortunately for us, the homes we developed don’t have a lot of foreclosures because we’re making sure we have good stable home lenders.”

The event begins at 3 p.m. today, Wednesday, Aug. 25, and is open to the public. Attendees should meet at BBC offices at 7201 Kinsman Road before walking to the Colfax Homes development for a ribbon cutting at 2938 Minnie Ave.

There will be tours of the various homes, music, and light refreshments.

Read more articles by Karin Connelly Rice.

Karin Connelly Rice enjoys telling people's stories, whether it's a promising startup or a life's passion. Over the past 20 years she has reported on the local business community for publications such as Inside Business and Cleveland Magazine. She was editor of the Rocky River/Lakewood edition of In the Neighborhood and was a reporter and photographer for the Amherst News-Times. At Fresh Water she enjoys telling the stories of Clevelanders who are shaping and embracing the business and research climate in Cleveland.
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