The new 26th and Clarksville, Phase 3, development is a model for integrating housing, health, and technology to serve low-income seniors.
Developed by Urban Housing Solutions (UHS), the 55-unit community serves residents earning no more than 50% and 60% of the area median income in Nashville, Tennessee. Fifty-three project-based vouchers were provided by the Metropolitan Housing Development Agency to ensure affordability for residents with extremely low incomes.
The development is also home to a pilot program with the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing to mitigate frailty in seniors, and an on-site clinic will open in a neighboring building this summer. The AFRESH (Aging and Frailty: Resilience and Energy in the Second Half of Life) program connects seniors to resources and empowers them to develop a personal wellness plan around physical activity, preventive care, and other core areas, according to Kevin Clavin, UHS development coordinator.
The community also seeks to bridge the digital divide that disproportionately affects seniors. The Nashville-based nonprofit has partnered with Xfinity to give residents free broadband. It also provided each initial resident with an iPad and training, which became even more important during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Part of a larger intergenerational community that also has affordable housing for families and artists, Phase 3 is UHS’ first dedicated senior development and its first to receive Enterprise Green Communities certification. A rooftop solar array helps offset utility costs.
The $11.3 million project received a commitment of 9% low-income housing tax credits under the Tennessee Housing Development Agency’s innovation set-aside for its unique approach in serving seniors. “We were making the case that by investing in adequate and supportive housing we would be able to keep people in a community-based care setting rather than institutional setting,” says Kelsey Oesmann, senior manager of design and development.