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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.

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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.