CHN and United Way Announce Cleveland Scholar House

         Project combines affordable housing with supportive services for
college students who are single parents and their children

Cleveland, May 19, 2021 – CHN Housing Partners and United Way of Greater Cleveland today announced a plan to build Cleveland Scholar House, a service-enriched apartment building for single parents who are college students and their minor children. In addition to CHN and United Way, other core partners include Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA), Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C), Cleveland State University (CSU) and Step Forward.

Cleveland Scholar House will be funded through the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC), which was announced today by the Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA). The Tax Credit is expected to generate over $9 million of the project's estimated $12 million development cost.

"We are so grateful to OHFA for seeing the need for this project in northeast Ohio," said Kevin J. Nowak, executive director of CHN Housing Partners. "The tax credit award is the essential first step to making Cleveland Scholar House a reality," he added.

The successful Scholar House model was pioneered in Kentucky. CHN, United Way and other partners are bringing Scholar House to Cleveland. The model will remove barriers to economic opportunity by providing affordable housing and wrap-around services for single adult college students and their children to support educational success.

"This is much more than a bricks and mortar project," said Nowak. "With leadership from United Way and critical contributions from CMHA, CSU, Tri-C and Step Forward, our community is truly embracing Scholar House," he added.

United Way will coordinate wrap-around services for Cleveland Scholar House's residents.

"The Scholar House model is a two-generation approach designed to interrupt the cycle of poverty for parents and their children and permanently change the trajectory of their lives," said August Napoli, President and CEO of United Way.

Cleveland Scholar House will offer the following:

  • Stable Housing — CHN will develop the building on vacant land within walking distance of CSU and Tri-C. Amenities will include daycare, study space, a computer lab, common space for parenting classes and family activities, as well as child play space.
  • Rental Support —CMHA will provide 40 project- based vouchers and lease the land for the building.
  • High Quality Childcare — Step Forward will provide onsite daycare.
  • Academic Support —CSU and Tri-C will provide life skills, academic counseling, and cohort support for first-generation college students.
  • Resident Services —CHN, United Way and others will coordinate wrap-around services, including mental health counseling, financial literacy, and access to benefits and other services.

"The Cleveland Scholar House offers solutions to systemic problems, such as lack of access to affordable housing and quality education, as opposed to addressing the symptoms of poverty alone, including homelessness and hunger, to create real, long-term impact within the community and the hope of eliminating these barriers altogether in the future," added Napoli.

Cleveland Scholar House will be located on Community College Avenue and will consist of 33 two-bedroom units and seven three-bedroom units. CHN Housing Partners will serve as developer, property manager and owner. The building architect is Hiti, DiFrancesco and Siebold, Inc.

Contacts:

Laura Boustani lboustani@chnhousingpartners.org (216) 789-3626

Katie Connell kconnell@unitedwaycleveland.org (404) 895-5513

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About CHN Housing Partners

CHN Housing Partners, formerly Cleveland Housing Network, was founded in 1981. It is a large-scale affordable housing developer and housing service provider that works with its partners to solve major housing challenges for low-income people and underserved communities. CHN partners with utility companies, financial institutions and public agencies to manage and deliver large-scale housing resources. CHN also partners with people—low-income individuals, families, seniors, the disabled and the homeless—to improve their housing stability. CHN's impact in Cleveland includes 2,500 new homeowners, the housing stability services it provides annually to 30,000 individuals, and the development of 6,000 new homes. www.chnhousingpartners.org

About United Way of Greater Cleveland

United Way of Greater Cleveland is a local, independent nonprofit organization dedicated to fighting poverty across the Greater Cleveland area. As the largest private-sector investor in health and human services, United Way of Greater Cleveland addresses poverty through a two-pronged approach. The first prong, the Community Hub for Basic Needs, focuses on the daily issues and basic needs of those living in poverty. The second drives research, innovation and concrete solutions for the future through the Impact Institute, a think tank with an action plan, focused on breaking the cycle of poverty. For more information, visit www.unitedwaycleveland.org.