Hialeah, Fla.–Spinal Cord Living-Assistance Development (SCLAD) Inc., a nonprofit that provides support services to those with physical and developmental disabilities, has broken ground on a multifamily residential project, SCLAD Plaza. The affordable housing property will offer barrier-free housing to residents of the town, which is a suburb of Miami.
SCLAD Plaza will have 18 accessible units on three floors and the SCLAD Resource Center at street level, which will offer various services to those with disabilities. Besides being barrier-free, SCLAD Plaza will also be of service to its residents through close proximity to grocery stores, pharmacies, banks and other useful features of day-to-day life, according to the developer.
Demand for the units is high. Applications for tenancy in any of the units were stopped at 600, say Pedro and Angelina Rodriguez, who run SCLAD. A similarly large number of people applied to be in the organization’s other multifamily rental development, Park Place Apartments. That property has a waiting list of almost 700 prospective tenants.
The project was financed primarily with HOME Investment Partnership Program funds that originated at HUD, channeled through the City of Hialeah, as part of the Community Housing Development Organization Set Asides. Additional HOME funds were awarded to SCLAD by the Florida Housing Finance Corp. Locally, Miami-Dade County contributed Surtax funds and Building Better Communities GOB Funds. Neighborhood Lending Partners of South Florida provided a construction loan, and SCLAD contributed its own funds to complete the financing package for the project.
Under the U.S. House of Representatives budget bill passed last month, the HOME Investment Partnership Program would be cut 10 percent in fiscal 2012, compared to fiscal 2010. The Obama administration has proposed the same percentage in cuts to the program.
“With respect to future projects, I anticipate greater difficulties in putting together financing packages,” Angelina Rodriguez tells MHN. “Public dollars are shrinking, so developers like SCLAD will have to find ways of creating private-public partnerships. That’s a lot of work, but it may be necessary not too far into the future. Everyone is going to have to pitch in.”