Rainbow Housing Assistance Corporation (Rainbow), a nonprofit organization that provides service-enriched housing programs for residents of rental housing communities throughout the country, has been selected by developer Gorman & Company, Inc. as the service provider for West End Station, a new $12 million, 70-unit affordable housing development in Tucson, Arizona. West End Station, which will be located at the west end of the Sun Link Modern Streetcar line at 855 W. Congress St., is one of the first Section 811 projects ever to be developed in Arizona using the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program. Construction is tentatively scheduled to begin in early 2017 and be complete in mid-2018.
The Section 811 program assists adults aged 18 years and older with significant, long-term developmental disabilities to live independently in the community by providing affordable housing and supportive services. Under Section 811 housing, a case manager is assigned to each resident to aid the resident with self-determined daily needs. Rainbow’s scope of work will include operating the community resource center at the site and implementing a range of services for residents, including providing a part-time, on-site resident service coordinator to serve as a liaison between the residents and the case managers. Direct case management will be provided in partnership with the Arizona Department of Economic Security, Division of Developmental Disabilities (DES/DDD).
“We’re thrilled to work with Gorman & Company on the first Section 811 development in Arizona to showcase how beneficial this program can be,” said Flynann Janisse, executive director of Rainbow. “By providing appropriate supportive services, along with affordable housing opportunities, residents will be able to live as independently as possible and enhance the quality of their daily lives.”
Once completed, West End Station will consist of one four-story building comprising one-, two- and three-bedroom floor plans. 56 of the units will be supported by a Section 8 contract with the city of Tucson, and 14 units will receive HUD Section 811 rental assistance through the Arizona Department of Housing, who also issued the tax credits to finance the project’s construction. For the Section 811 units, four units will be one-bedroom floorplans and the remaining 10 units will be two-bedroom floorplans.
“We understand that a key component to any successful multifamily community we work with are the people that residents interact with on a daily basis,” said Brian Swanton, Gorman’s Arizona market president. “Partnering with Rainbow not only provides us a wealth of experience in affordable housing, but brings forth real people who will help enhance the quality of life for our future residents. Adults with developmental disabilities are increasingly shut out of today’s tightening rental market. It’s a great day when we can build high quality, affordable and accessible housing for adults with special needs in our community, and wrap them with the supportive services they so desperately need.”
As the community also seeks to serve families with children, a range of youth enrichment programs will be offered Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. to residents at no cost, which will include educational activities, resources and homework help to promote academic achievement, and teen employment opportunities. A range of adult courses will also be offered, with programs comprising computer training and job readiness courses, in addition to some of Rainbow’s proprietary programs such as a money management course with nationally renowned partner Capital Area Asset Builders (CAAB) to aid in expanding residents’ financial independence skills.
Rainbow is currently providing services to more than 80 affordable housing developments across the country and is also involved in a number of new developments within Arizona and New Mexico, all of which started construction in mid-2016.