The 52-unit Churchill Gateway is expected to be completed in fall 2022.
RDL Architects The 52-unit Churchill Gateway is expected to be completed in fall 2022.

The NRP Group took a big step forward on its latest affordable housing community by receiving low-income housing tax credits (LIHTCs) from the Ohio Finance Housing Agency (OHFA).

The credits will be used to build affordable housing in the Glenville neighborhood of Cleveland.

To be developed at East 105th and Churchill Road—the site of the former Harry E. Davis Elementary School, which has been vacant since 2006—the project is the first phase of a multiphase development known as Churchill Gateway, and will consist of a four-story 48-unit apartment building and four townhomes, for a total of 52 units. The one-, two-, and three-bedroom units will be affordable to residents at or below 60% of the area median income.

Churchill Gateway will be an anchor development along the East 105th corridor, creating a connection between the Glenville neighborhood to the north and the job center at University Circle to the south. In addition to delivering much-needed affordable housing to the neighborhood, NRP is collaborating with the city of Cleveland, Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority, Cleveland Metropolitan School District, and University Hospitals to develop a 2,500-square-foot Community Outreach Center, which will focus on health education and workforce training.

The development partner in the project, University Hospitals, employs more than 28,000 physicians and employees and is located 1 mile away from the Churchill Gateway project. University Hospitals is working to actively engage with the local neighborhoods by reaching beyond its four walls to address key social determinants of health in disinvested neighborhoods. The Churchill Gateway project provides just such an opportunity, according to officials.

“University Hospitals is thrilled to collaborate with The NRP Group in the neighborhoods adjacent to the UH Cleveland Medical Center, its UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital, and UH Seidman Hospital as NRP develops much-needed affordable housing in the Glenville neighborhood,” says Dr. Daniel Simon, president, Medical Centers, University Hospitals Health System. “Safe, affordable, and high-quality housing plays a critical role in addressing social determinants of health and can lead to a lifetime of improved community health outcomes. Now more than ever, it is vital that health care providers engage communities in health education and preventative health care where our neighbors live. This project will help UH continue to best understand and care for the health needs of the community and to provide comprehensive community-based care—the kind of health care people need the most.”

To help finance the approximately $14 million first phase, OHFA recently approved a $1 million LIHTC reservation for the project. Other financing includes city and county HOME funds and conventional debt.

“The NRP Group continues to be a leader in partnering with health care institutions to develop high-quality, affordable, and health-focused housing,” says Kelan Craig, director of multifamily housing at OHFA. “Good health depends on having safe and affordable homes. The Ohio Housing Finance Agency supports and is excited to work with NRP to promote good health and better health outcomes through housing. As COVID-19 compounds the affordable housing crisis, the intersection of housing and health care has never been more important. OHFA is proud to support Churchill Gateway and the partnership between The NRP Group and University Hospitals.”

In Columbus, Ohio, The NRP Group collaborated with Nationwide Children’s Hospital on the 58-unit The Residences at Career Gateway.

The new development aims to provide several other positive outcomes for stakeholders in this previously underserved community. First, through University Hospitals’ involvement, Churchill Gateway provides an opportunity for a major local employer to directly connect with and access local residents to focus on wellness and health education, and to recruit potential employees. Additionally, because of Churchill Gateway’s proximity to University Circle, it will also provide an opportunity for residents to enhance their connections to the many cultural, health, educational, and civic assets of University Circle and participate in the revitalization of the neighborhood. Finally, there has been relatively few multifamily developments directly outside of University Circle proper, and Churchill Gateway stands to change all that by acting as a catalyst for continued new development in the Circle North neighborhood, according to The NRP Group.

Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) adds that this project could not be better timed. “This is great news for the Glenville neighborhood in Cleveland as these federal tax credits will be used to help provide safe, affordable housing through the Churchill Gateway project,” he says. “Safe housing can lead to improved health outcomes for lower-income communities, and the partnership between The NRP Group, which will build this new affordable housing community, and University Hospitals, which will partner with them to conduct health education outreach is a strong example of the types of cross-sector collaboration needed to enhance social determinants of health in Ohio and across the country.”