Posted at: 11/20/2012 5:15 PM
Updated at: 11/20/2012 6:48 PM
By: Travis Dill
Central City Housing and CHUM announced on Tuesday that The Hillside Apartments Project has received over $9 million in state tax credits.
The funds make an apartment complex a reality on the 100 block of West 4th St. The apartments will help homeless families in Duluth.
But supporters, like Center City Housing Executive Director Rick Klun, also said it will help restore a troubled city block in the Central Hillside neighborhood.
“This is the home of arson. It's been the home of murders. It's been the home of drug dealing and prostitution, and we're trying to clean up this city block and make it a good safe place for families to live,” Klun said.
The empty and boarded buildings will come down, and replacing them will be a 44-unit apartment complex.
Supporters, like CHUM Executive Director Jim Soderberg, celebrated the funding that made the project possible after three years of work.
“You know this is a really happy event. Like I say we've been working for this for many years,” Soderberg said.
Soderberg said that within the last three months over 400 people have stayed at their shelter.
“We're seeing families right now who are really in crisis, and that's not just a problem for the families because that like I say ripples out to the broader community. Everyone feels that impact,” Soderberg said.
And he said children growing up homeless don't often escape it as adults.
“And so that's another reason for this project to break that cycle of inter-generational homelessness and poverty,” Soderberg said.
CHUM will also provide supportive services like helping kids with schoolwork and employment programs for adults. All of this will give the families something most take for granted, an address.
“They'll be at that address for years, and that's so critically important,” Soderberg said.
Construction will begin in about nine months, and the apartments should be ready for residents about a year after that.