120 Units of Affordable Housing Planned for Vacant Lots on South Side
Plans are moving forward to bring over 120 units of affordable housing to two city-owned vacant lots on the South Side.
Community Housing Network (CHN) wants to build a 62-unit, three-story building at the corner of Washington and Barthman avenues, just west of the Maloney Health Center on Parsons Avenue. The building would house formerly homeless individuals and those suffering from mental illness and substance addiction, similar to the recently-completed Terrace Place in Weinland Park.
North of the health center, the NRP Group and Community Development for All People are collaborating on a four-story mixed-use development featuring 60 units of affordable senior housing and ground-floor retail. That building would serve as the second phase of Parsons Village, a senior housing community completed last year at the corner of Reeb and Washington avenues.
Both projects have been designed to take advantage of low-income housing tax credits from the Ohio Housing Finance Agency, which will be awarded this summer.
“If we are fortunate to receive an award… then we would work towards a construction start of June, 2018 and a completion of June, 2019,” said Ryan Cassell, Development Director at CHN.
Mary Hada of the NRP Group said that construction on Parsons Village II could start as early as the fall of 2017, contingent on the awarding of the tax credits. The plan for the building was approved by the Southside Area Commission in October.
The CHN project, dubbed Parsons Place, will share space with forty fruit trees, part of a project announced in December by the Wexner Center for the Arts.
“We think the Fruit Park will be a great addition to the community and we are excited to contribute whatever we can to the effort of making it happen,” said Cassell. “Obviously it is a park next door to our building, so we anticipate that our residents will be a part of the community that uses the park and is able to get healthy fruit from the trees.”
Cassell added that, given research linking access to nature with various health benefits, proximity to such an amenity will be a positive for many reasons.
“Unfortunately, many economically disadvantaged neighborhoods lack public parks that make accessing nature convenient,” he said. “This park, along with the parks that are a part of the Blueprint Columbus work that recently occurred in the area, will help reduce this concern for South Side residents, including the residents of Parsons Place.”