A new development in Cleveland is the city’s first affordable housing community geared toward lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) seniors.
Almost two decades in the making, the development had been a goal for advocate Linda Krasienko, president of A Place for Us Development. She had wanted to provide affordable homes with support systems for members of the LGBT community, who often become isolated as they age because they don’t have close family relationships.
After striking out several times, she reached out to Cleveland-based The NRP Group, a national top affordable housing developer, which helped make her dream a reality.
The 55-unit A Place For Us development opened for leasing in October and is providing 24 one-bedroom and 21 two-bedroom homes in a supportive environment for seniors and members of the LGBT community 55 and older. It is the first affordable housing development in Ohio catering to LGBT seniors and one of only a handful across the nation.
“As a whole, it’s not exclusively for the LGBT community, but it’s welcoming of everybody, and there’s a lot of programming toward that demographic and population to make them feel welcome,” says Aaron Pechota, senior vice president of The NRP Group.
Krasienko provides services for all residents, who earn less than 60% of the area median income, including counseling, health fairs, and art and fitness classes.
The green building promotes sustainable living and is across the street from the rapid transit station. It also includes a community room, a computer lab, a fitness center, and a garden terrace.
The $10.2 million development was financed primarily with low-income housing tax credits (LIHTCs) allocated by the Ohio Housing Finance Agency. KeyBank Community Development Lending and Investment provided the LIHTC equity and construction financing, and Cinnaire provided permanent financing. Additional financing included HOME funds from the city of Cleveland.
RDL Architects served as the architect on the development, while NRP Contractors was the general contractor.