Community Matters: Groundbreakings and Dedications (Summer 2013)

Mercy Housing California partners to create 150 affordable homes and clinic in Sacramento

7th and H in Sacramento
7th and H in Sacramento

In April, Mercy Housing California celebrated the opening of a new affordable community for low-income and formerly homeless residents in downtown Sacramento. 7th & H’s new 150 studio and one-bedroom apartments is a key component of the city and county’s effort to end chronic homelessness, provides essential living options to the budding downtown workforce, and represents a vision for one of the largest redevelopment areas in the country.

“The opening of Mercy Housing’s 7th & H development is a welcome addition to Sacramento’s downtown. With comprehensive residential services and WellSpace Health’s Tom Gagen Community Health Center, Mercy Housing and the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency are helping to address our region’s affordable housing shortage while providing services to those most in need,” says Congresswoman Doris Matsui.

The mixed-use community includes a 5,000 square foot Federally Qualified Health Center on the ground floor operated by WellSpace Health, formerly The Effort, to serve the residents of 7th and H and the surrounding community.

Mercy Housing Northwest welcomed seniors to newly renovated homes in Thurston and Lewis Counties

Cambridge Apartments resident Harriet Felton in her newly-renovated home
Cambridge Apartments resident Harriet Felton in her newly-renovated home

In July, Mercy Housing Northwest welcomed seniors to their newly renovated homes in Thurston and Lewis Counties in Washington state. Thanks to the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit and our funding partners, Key Bank and Enterprise Community Investment, 92 apartment homes were fully renovated, creating affordable and sustainable housing for seniors and individuals with disabilities.

Renovations included the use of green building practices, significant energy efficiency upgrades, lowering the monthly costs of utilities and improved accessibility for residents. More than 200 construction workers participated in the project and 75 percent of the workforce was locally sourced from South Puget Sound. The grand opening turned out to be a great event, attended by residents, Mario Villanueva, Washington State Director of USDA Rural Development, Karen Miller and staff from Washington State Housing Finance Commission, Enterprise Community, Bonnie Canaday, Mayor of Centralia, as well as staff members from Senator Maria Cantwell’s office and Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler’s office.

Mercy Housing Lakefront helps save 128 units of housing in Aurora, Ill.

2000 Illinois Apartments located in Aurora, Ill.
2000 Illinois Apartments located in Aurora, Ill.

Mercy Housing Lakefront (MHL) has recently acquired 128 units of affordable housing through the purchase of the 2000 Illinois Apartments complex in Aurora, Ill. The transaction was made possible through Mercy Housing’s participation in The Housing Partnership Equity Trust (HPET), a newly-created nonprofit real estate investment trust, or REIT.

HPET funds enabled Mercy Housing Lakefront to proceed from contract to closing in just three months, as opposed to approximately two years with other types of financing.

“We were only able to save this property because of the REIT,” stated Cindy Holler, President of Mercy Housing Lakefront.

MHL is now looking to begin capital improvements on the property to improve the safety, energy-efficiency and marketability of the building. Several of the major improvements include partial replacement of the building’s roof, addressing drainage systems and the condition of the building’s boilers. Additionally, all units will receive interior upgrades as well as common areas including the leasing office, halls, stairwells and outdoor landscaping.

Mercy Housing Southeast opens third phase of Savannah Gardens development in Savannah, Ga.

Savannah GardensMercy Housing Southeast recently celebrated the completion of Savannah Gardens Phase III, a 94-unit multifamily community featuring one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments for families. The property is the third phase of the redevelopment of the Strathmore Estates, a 44-acre site that contained 380 units of substandard rental housing located on Savannah’s East Side.

The 65-year-old, 45-acre Strathmore Estates was originally built as public housing for shipyard workers and has been characterized as a crime-ridden neighborhood for years. A few years ago, through a partnership with CHSA Development and the City of Savannah, Mercy Housing Southeast put a plan in motion to turn what the Savannah Chatham Metropolitan Police Chief once called “one of the most notorious crime centers in the city,” into a new mixed-income and environmentally friendly housing community.

After the fourth phase of 114 units is complete in 2014, Savannah gardens will be home to more than 350 families, seniors and individuals. The entire Savannah Gardens project is part of EarthCraft Communities, ensuring sustainable development and energy efficiency.


Read more in the Summer/Fall 2013 issue of the Community Matters newsletter!