Supportive Housing for Disabled Homeless Women Opens

By Anuradha Kher, Online News EditorDayton, Ohio–The Miami Valley Housing Opportunities (MVHO) and Miller-Valentine Group have recently opened a three-story, 27-unit apartment complex for homeless women veterans, located on the Dayton Medical Center campus, at 4100 W 3rd St. in Dayton, Ohio. Move-ins are expected to begin by end of October.The Ohio Avenue Commons is the nation’s first supportive housing initiative open to homeless, mentally disabled women veterans with services to ensure a successful re-entry into society. It features open area units with a bedroom, kitchen, and living room space as well as bathrooms. Preference is given to veterans but it is not a prerequisite.The building known as 402, which was unused for nearly 10 years, was renovated over the course of two and a half years to house this program. Tenants will have apartment-style living with additional common rooms located on each floor. “We have a similar 34-unit facility for men and always had a plan to build a project for women as well,” Natalie Harris, executive director of MVHO, tells MHN. “We wanted to have housing for those who aren’t able to make it on their own in the least restrictive settings. People with disabilities struggle to acquire housing, even through public housing, whether it is due to discrimination or because they cannot understand how to apply. We wanted to make it easier for these people.”Women from ages 18 to their 70s are open to apply to the permanent housing project which includes utilities.Ohio Avenue Commons offers medical services, cafeteria facilities, day care, job training, chemical dependency counseling, religious affiliations and transportation to the surrounding Dayton area. In addition, there are on-site services, including independent living skills, case management, employment training and placement, and financial education, provided by The Other Place, a homeless service provider.The project received more than $4 million in funding from low income tax credits, Housing and Urban Development (HUD) HOME Program, historic tax credits and other local financing.All units at Ohio Avenue Commons are affordable to low-income residents. Three units are restricted to occupants with incomes at or below 35 percent of area median income (AMI), 14 units are for occupants at 50 percent of AMI and the remaining 10 units are for individuals at 60 percent of AMI. All residents have a rental subsidy with a fair market rent of $451.