Local homeless housing projects receive federal funding

Construction has started on the low-income Key Terrace housing development for the homeless in Kettering. CONTRIBUTED

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Construction has started on the low-income Key Terrace housing development for the homeless in Kettering. CONTRIBUTED

Local nonprofits and organizations have received nearly $9 million in federal funding to address homelessness in the Miami Valley, including funds for a new low-income housing development in Kettering.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded grants for 19 different Dayton projects that address homelessness in the Dayton area. The department also awarded nearly $2 billion in grants to about 2,600 homeless assistance programs nationwide.

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Approximately 19 projects in the Dayton area received about $8.9 million in grants. HUD officials have challenged state and local planning organizations to support the highest performing local programs. Projects that were supported in the area included: several Miami Valley Housing Opportunities projects including the Key Terrace housing development in Kettering, the Ohio Avenue Commons, the Iowa Avenue Commons, and three St. Vincent de Paul projects.

In total, Ohio was awarded more than $94 million in federal grant money, according to the HUD report. The department estimates more than 1 million homeless people are provided emergency, transitional and permanent housing each year.

On average, about 549,928 people experienced homelessness on a single night in the U.S. in 2016.

David Bohardt, the executive director of St. Vincent de Paul Dayton, said the three projects funded have been proven to combat homelessness in the Miami Valley. St. Vincent de Paul Safe Haven, which was awarded $324, 177, provides residential single-family homes on North Main Street for people diagnosed with serious mental illness. There is a total of 13 adults served through the program.

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Two other St. Vincent de Paul projects — including a permanent supportive housing development in Kettering — were awarded more than $243,000.

According to the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio, there has been a 17 percent decline in homelessness in the state since 2010. Locally, the Montgomery County Human Services Planning & Development Department has a 10-year plan to produce 750 units of permanent supportive housing, such as the Key Terrace development.

County data show chronic homelessness declined 79 percent from 2006 to 2015. In 2014, more than 4,400 different people stayed at one of the community’s shelters at least one night in Montgomery County. That included 549 families — or 1,714 people, 2,610 single adults and 79 unaccompanied minors.

The Key Terrace housing development in Kettering received more than $21,000 in funding. Dayton-based Miami Valley Housing Opportunity broke ground in Kettering on the low-income housing development for the homeless — an investment of about $6 million in tax credits, state and local funds.

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“[The funding] is definitely going to be a benefit for the residents living at the Key Terrace,” said Debbie Watts Robinson, chief executive officer of MVHO. “It will help provide more services, or the services we are planning.”

MVHO purchased the property at 3908 Wilmington Pike, about a block north of Stroop Road. A three-story, 40-unit apartment building — covering about 39,852 square feet — will open next summer, Robinson said.

MVHO also received additional grants for other housing developments throughout the Dayton area.

“We know how to end homelessness and will continue to encourage our local partners to use the latest evidence to achieve success,” said HUD Secretary Julián Castro. “These grants support proven strategies to end homelessness once and for all.”

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