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Lucas Metropolitan Housing, Community Housing Network announce new $400,000 subsidy that completes $13.9 million funding package to redevelop former Park Hotel

TOLEDO, Ohio - Leaders of Lucas Housing Services Corp., a nonprofit affiliate of Lucas Metropolitan Housing (LMH), and the Central Ohio nonprofit Community Housing Network (CHN) announced today their partnership is the new recipient of a $400,000 Affordable Housing Program subsidy from the Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) of Cincinnati.


The Affordable Housing Program (AHP) award by the FHLB's board of directors means all the necessary funding is now complete for LMH and CHN to proceed with their $13.9 million plan to replace the long-vacant and dilapidated former Park Hotel in Toledo and start construction in spring 2023 on the Park Apartments, a four-story, 45-unit building that will serve young adults who are aging out of the foster care system and are at risk of homelessness.

The new Park Apartments building, located on a half-acre site at 410 and 414 Wade St. and 201 Knapp St., is expected to be ready for occupants in late spring 2024. Lathrop Turner will manage construction of the project.

"Our exciting collaboration with CHN represents a historic opportunity to bring housing stability to the lives of young people who are currently experiencing homelessness or who are struggling to survive by couch-surfing, living in shelters or sleeping in cars," said LMH President and CEO Joaquin Cintron Vega.

"At the same time, we're going to transform one of Toledo's eyesores into a beautiful new structure that will offer a comprehensive list of social service programs to help these young men and women as they enter an important phase of their lives and that will have a major impact on their long-term future," Cintron Vega said.

In addition to FHLB Cincinnati, funding partners that have teamed with LMH and CHN in the Park Apartments project include Huntington National Bank, Columbus, Ohio; Premier Bank, Youngstown, Ohio; Ohio Housing Finance Agency; the City of Toledo; and the Board of Lucas County Commissioners. The project has received $8.7 million in tax credit equity through Low Income Housing Tax Credits, which is 62% of the needed funding. The City of Toledo is providing $3.2 million for the project and Lucas County is providing $750,000 through federal America Rescue Plan Act funds.

"We were informed of a need for affordable housing and supportive services for those aging out of foster care locally more than two years ago," said CHN CEO Samantha Shuler. "For over 35 years, CHN has been creating homes that provide residents with the support, stability and community connections they need to live and thrive.

"That's why we began working with LMH and our funding partners to address this urgent community need," Shuler said. "The AHP subsidy for the Park Hotel redevelopment is the final step in filling our financing package needs. We look forward to the completion of the construction portion of the project and ultimate occupancy in the spring of 2024."

A market study showed the proposed Park Apartments development would be at capacity within three months of opening to tenants. The new apartment building will be available to Toledo-area residents ages 18 to 24. Tenants will have a choice of 41 one-bedroom and four two-bedroom units. Tenants will be referred through Lucas County Children Services, the Lucas County Juvenile Justice Center, and the local Continuum of Care (Toledo Lucas County Homelessness Board). Rent will be income-based. LMH officials estimate the average tenant stay will be 12 to 24 months, though that could vary depending on tenants' individual needs. Tenants who don't already have a social worker will have access to one. LMH programs will help tenants find employment, provide transportation to work and ensure a stable transition from foster care to adulthood.

"LMH is the Toledo area's largest landlord - we house more than 17,000 people in a given month," said LMH Public Housing, Development and Modernization Chief Matthew Sutter. "It is our responsibility to find stable housing solutions for all populations in need, including our community's vulnerable young people."

Park Apartments common-area amenities will include a community room with an attached kitchen, a fitness space, laundry facilities and ample storage. There will be on-site parking for both vehicles and bicycles. The project will also feature sustainable design in multiple ways, such as Energy Star-qualified lighting components, windows and appliances; low-flow plumbing fixtures; high-efficiency and appropriately sized HVAC equipment; fresh-air ventilation; use of low volatile organic compound products; and construction to address durability. The site is situated within an established mixed-use portion of south Toledo and is located on a bus line.

The Park Hotel was built in 1909 and featured more than 100 rooms, a bar and a restaurant. It catered to passengers from the adjacent train station at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Plaza, as well as visitors to south Toledo. The hotel closed in 2001, with the bar and restaurant closing soon after, according to Toledo-Lucas County Plan Commission documents.  

Lucas Metropolitan Housing has implemented a community outreach plan that involves significant public review of the project. In addition, LMH staff continue to meet regularly with elected officials and government leaders representing Toledo and Lucas County to keep them updated on the project and ensure they are aware of any relevant public feedback LMH receives.

The FHLB Cincinnati board of directors approved the latest round of Affordable Housing Program awards at its Nov. 17 meeting. Park Apartments is among 36 projects that will receive nearly $12.1 million in AHP subsidy to help produce 1,537 units of affordable housing for very low- to moderate-income residents. Of 48 project awards, 29 support owner-occupied housing and 19 support rental housing.

The Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati is a regional wholesale bank providing financial services for residential housing and economic development to 618 member-stockholders in the FHLB System's Fifth District of Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee. It is one of 11 Federal Home Loan Banks nationwide, a system created by Congress in 1932 to support housing finance. 

Since the first awards in 1990, the FHLB has contributed more than $841 million toward more than 104,000 units of affordable housing through the AHP and Welcome Home Program. These programs have enabled thousands of families to access decent, affordable housing.

About Lucas Metropolitan Housing

Established in 1933, Lucas Metropolitan Housing (LMH) continues to provide affordable housing to adults, seniors and children in its Public Housing, Housing Choice Voucher, Mixed-Income and Market Rate housing units. LMH also provides myriad programs and opportunities designed to improve the total quality of life for our residents, with the ultimate goal of achieving self-sufficiency. The programs and services are the result of successful collaborations with numerous community partners.

Our current housing portfolio consists of 2,633 Public Housing units, 4,657 Housing Choice Vouchers, 322 Low-Income Housing Tax Credit units, 198 Market Rate units and 107 Homeownership Properties. There are approximately 17,500 people who reside in LMH properties. Lucas Metropolitan Housing partners with ALL people and organizations willing to exchange ideas and efforts to enhance Toledo, Lucas County and the world. 

About Lucas Housing Services Corporation

Established in 2013, Lucas Housing Services Corp. (LHSC) is a nonprofit affiliate of Lucas Metropolitan Housing (LMH). LHSC is the anchor of the Community Development arm for LMH. LHSC's mission is to "provide relief for a community located within low- and moderate-income census tracts by rehabilitating and improving properties subject to blight and foreclosure. Such activities will help relieve conditions of poverty, dependency, chronic unemployment and underemployment in an economically depressed community. Given the unmet need of the community for such relief, LHSC is a critical vehicle for improving the quality and value of the distressed areas."   

LHSC has been serving the community for over 10 years, focusing on creating homeownership opportunities for low- and moderate-income, first-time home buyers.

LHSC owns over 100 homeownership properties, and its "Work Your Way Home" program, a one-stop shop toward homeownership, has created more than 40 homeowners in two key neighborhoods that support downtown in North and Central Toledo. LHSC enjoys partnerships with many agencies in the community helping to improve individuals' and families' quality of life while stabilizing distressed neighborhoods.