On Tuesday, February 13, 2015 the community of Duluth celebrated the grand opening of Steve O’Neil Apartments and welcomes the families and children to their new 44-unit permanent supportive housing community and emergency family shelter.
This beautifully designed 44-unit apartment community and six-room emergency family shelter is officially named after former county commissioner Steve O’Neil, who passed away in 2013, for his life work and advocacy for the homeless. Today’s official opening marks a new chapter in the lives of our newly moved-in residents who now have safe, affordable homes with onsite support services to help them live healthier lives and break the cycle of long-term homelessness.
The $12.8 million affordable-housing community, developed by Center City Housing Corporation (CCHC) and One Roof Community Housing with Wagner Zaun Architecture, Johnson Wilson Constructors and Rippley Richard Real Estate, was made possible through the support, dedication and generosity of many development and program partners, along with thousands of people who made personal donations.
UnitedHealth Group, which employs 1,300 people in the Duluth area, was the largest investor in the project, providing $10.5 million in equity through Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) that were awarded by the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency (MHFA).
Additional capital financing and funding was provided by Greater Minnesota Housing Fund ($500,000), CHUM ($450,000), the Federal Home Loan Bank –Des Moines/Republic Bank ($300,000), St. Louis County HRA ($250,000), the City of Duluth HOME Program ($244,000), NeighborWorks America ($95,000), Minnesota Power ($46,000), Comfort Systems ($27,000) and LISC (10,000). The Greater Minnesota Housing Fund (GMHF) and Duluth LISC provided predevelopment financing, and GMHF provided construction and acquisition financing. Permanent acquisition capital was provided by Duluth CDBG Program, Duluth Economic Development Authority, Center City Housing Corp. and One Roof Community Housing.
Managed by D.W. Jones, Steve O’Neil Apartments is close to jobs and public transportation, and includes features such as open floor plans, energy-efficient appliances, parking, a community room, outdoor children’s playground, and 24-hour onsite management and security for residents. Support services and programming for children and families are community-based, socially interactive and affect the whole environment a family experiences. These include: a Family Coaching Center; early childhood center; afterschool activities for school-aged children; a computer and library center; classes, recreation, cooking, exercise room and support groups; and counseling services for job placement, educational resources, counseling and coordination with health care providers.
These services and programs, along with operational support, are being funded by the Northland Foundation, Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Ordean Foundation, MHFA, LISC, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation, Lloyd K. Johnson Foundation and numerous private contributions.