The proposed apartment complex would bring quality housing to Lorain
A new 62-unit apartment complex proposed for land at Broadway and 22nd Street in Lorain could help boost housing in an area that is now primarily a business district.
Details are expected in the coming weeks on CHN Housing Partners’ $14 million plan for the proposed complex which will have offices for social services.
The project was discussed at a meeting of Lorain City Council on February 7.
Council members voted 9 to 1 on a rezoning for 10 parcels on the east side of Broadway between East 21st and East 22nd Streets.
The zoning change is MU Mixed Use from B-2 Business.
Lorain Broadway Realty Inc. owns the site, which is currently comprised of vacant land, with a small building on one.
During the Council discussion, Planning and Zoning Administrator Drew Crawford introduced Jillian Watson Esposito, Deputy Director of Real Estate Development for Cleveland-based CHN Housing Partners, and another representative from that organization to discuss of the project.
CHN Housing Partners is a non-profit organization with 40 years of experience in community development.
We learned from Esposito that the company has developed over 6,500 affordable homes.
So why Lorraine?
Well, CHN Housing Partners’ mission is to harness the power of affordable housing to change lives and improve communities.
This is exactly what is needed in Lorain, especially in this part of town.
CHN Housing Partners is the lead agency responsible for developing the apartments, while a partner agency would own and manage the units.
Esposito pointed out that the same team developed more than 700 units in Cleveland.
There would be offices in the apartment complex with support from the North Foundation for support services such as mental and behavioral health counselling, financial literacy, and job training and education.
After the meeting, Laura Boustani, director of fundraising and strategic communications for CHN Housing Partners, declined to divulge further details about the project as the company was preparing a request for state funding to help with the project. .
However, Boustani said the company will release a full proposal once that request is complete.
This possibility drew praise from Council members during their discussion.
We agree with Lorain General Councilor Mary Springowski that the proposed complex is an exciting opportunity for the intersection and would bring stability to this area as well as the availability of housing for those in need.
The Lorain apartment complex is probably similar to Bridge Pointe Commons, 338 E. Bridge St. in Elyria.
In May 2020, the City of Elyria announced that it would work with the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development and the state administrative agency for funding for Bridge Pointe Commons.
According to the plans filed with Elyria, the project has 62 affordable housing units enriched with services for people experiencing homelessness.
Ward 7 Councilor Cory Shawver worked on the Pointe Commons Bridge during his tenure with the Lorain County Port Authority, which provided the land.
Lorain Ward 5 Councilor JoAnne Moon told fellow council members that the Elyria complex is “absolutely beautiful” and she suggested council visit it.
Even Lorain Mayor Jack Bradley visited this development and at first thought they were condominiums.
After visiting the complex, Bradley suggested the developers do something about Lorain, and now thankfully that process has begun.
Ward 6 Councilman Rey Carrion also pointed out that Lorain has an opportunity to consider ways to redevelop degraded sites, and that city leaders and developers need to be aware of past struggles with housing in Lorraine.
And because affordable housing is sorely lacking in Lorain, city officials and staff must ensure that the type of housing is compatible with its housing plan.
Councilman Mitch Fallis was also right to ask about the availability of social services representatives and on-site security.
The pitches have a 24-hour reception, with security cameras around the buildings.
We see this as a very good project for Lorain to explore, as more residents could access quality housing.