Lucas Metropolitan Housing, City of Toledo partnering on 'bold' $40 million federal grant request to transform Junction Neighborhood, McClinton Nunn community
TOLEDO, Ohio - Leaders for the City of Toledo and Lucas Metropolitan Housing (LMH) announced today a joint plan to submit a $40 million grant request on Jan. 11 to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that would finance an "unprecedented and massive" transformation of the Junction Neighborhood with a focus on the McClinton Nunn community.
"HUD provides a vehicle to carry out Toledo's bold vision for the Junction Neighborhood and a $40 million grant would help jumpstart the process," said Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz. "If we are successful, it will be clear that Toledo's renaissance is in full swing and will enhance the social and economic fabric of Toledo as a whole.
"Our plan shows that the consensus vision for the Junction Neighborhood can become a reality that will especially benefit McClinton Nunn residents," Kapszukiewicz added. "The great capacity of Toledo residents and partners working together with the city and LMH, combined with propitious cultural, economic and market factors, makes the realization of our vision achievable."
If the full $40 million request is approved by HUD - a decision is expected by mid- to late-2023 - the plan would evolve over five phases with completion expected by 2033. View the plan here: bit.ly/3Yvi8UL
"We are excited to team with the City of Toledo and move forward on a vision that would bring unprecedented and massive positive change to the Junction Neighborhood and McClinton Nunn community that have been overlooked by investors and federal policymakers for far too long," said LMH President and CEO Joaquin Cintron Vega.
"Our plan will transform the Junction Neighborhood into a successful 21st century urban neighborhood that offers the lifestyle choices people want in urban living today," Cintron Vega said. "Strengthening connections to downtown Toledo and the Warehouse District will make the amenities there part of the Junction Neighborhood's unique lifestyle."
Highlights of the Toledo-LMH plan include:
• $26 million allocated for housing, sufficient to transform the McClinton Nunn site and surrounding properties into an attractive mixed-income residential area.
• $8 million allocated for People Plan initiatives, sufficient to bring quality education, healthcare, and career training to those in need, promoting successful life outcomes.
• $6 million for Neighborhood Plan initiatives, sufficient to fund the proposed Swan Creek improvements, new and upgraded public parks, and turning Nebraska Avenue into a successful "Main Street" for the neighborhood.
The plan calls for future funding of some improvement projects to come from the creation of a new Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district that is projected to generate $900,000 annually just from the redevelopment of the McClinton Nunn neighborhood alone into mixed-income, mixed-use housing. City leaders and LMH officials cited the TIF as a recommended funding source to pay for additional neighborhood investments.
The Toledo-LMH transformation plan is based on strategies that will:
• Leverage Junction's strong central location by strengthening connections to downtown Toledo.
• Turn Swan Creek into a major asset by activating the waterfront and promoting pedestrian, boat and bike connections to downtown Toledo and the Maumee River.
• Enhance the attractiveness of the key streets throughout Junction to upgrade the image of the neighborhood.
• Strengthen property maintenance in Junction to reduce the appearance of blight and disinvestment.
• Work with existing service providers to connect Junction residents with programs in digital proficiency, financial literacy, job training and adult education to increase earnings and build wealth.
• Build upon the proposed 6-Block Initiative for fostering new ownership housing in the Junction Neighborhood and use it as a catalyst for broad-based home ownership.
• Expand LMH's non-profit development entity, Lucas Housing Services, to perform more housing
rehabilitations in Junction and broaden the income range of households served by this program.
• Promote market-rate housing as a key part of a mixed-income housing development program by focusing on the near-downtown locations in Junction and along the improved Swan Creek, which should be attractive locations for market-rate renters and home buyers.
• Work with Toledo Public Schools, charter schools and nonprofit organizations providing afterschool and preschool educational programs to establish a coordinated program to achieve high academic proficiency throughout Junction.
• Work with the Junction Coalition, Center of Hope, The Pathways, The Tabernacle, and other neighborhood organizations to connect residents to the elevated support services.
• Work with the City of Toledo, Lucas County, Local Initiatives Support Organization, the Lucas County Land Bank, Promedica, and area banks to structure a plan to finance improvements that will foster neighborhood transformation.
The Junction Neighborhood would be a mixed-income community. A range of new housing will be built, but the housing program will respect the single-family heritage of the Junction Neighborhood. The Swan Creek activation plan includes a pedestrian/bike path, exercise/fitness station, pedestrian bridge, kayak launch facility, habitat improvement and a scenic overlook.
In addition, the proposed new development of a Swan Creek Village would feature new housing and office/retail space along Swan Creek, including 48 garden duplexes, 81 town homes, a 20,000-square foot mixed-use building with retail availability, a 90-unit adaptive reuse building and a 72-unit apartment complex.
The plan also calls for the creation of an ELEVATE educational program focused on McClinton Nunn students and operated by the Center of Hope. It is a comprehensive after-school program for K-6th graders to improve their academic performance while providing arts, recreation, social and emotional development, and health services.
LMH and city officials noted in its proposal to HUD that this program will require the buy-in and engagement of parents, school principals and LMH staff in order to identify students and collect the necessary permissions and data. This program could be funded through a 21st Century Community Learning Center Grant.
"This imitative would dramatically improve academic proficiency among students from McClinton Nunn, showing that quality education is possible for all students in the Junction Neighborhood," Cintron Vega said.
Upon completion, LMH and city officials predict the Junction Neighborhood development would:
• Create a mixed-income community where people of all incomes blend seamlessly.
• Enhance the economic wellbeing of existing Junction residents.
• Strengthen the connections to the Downtown and Warehouse District to make their assets part of the Junction lifestyle.
• Improve neighborhood amenities including parks, streets, lighting, and services.
• Make the Junction Neighborhood a safe place.
• Attract new commercial uses, particularly a grocery store and pharmacy.
• Maintain the history and heritage of the Junction Neighborhood.
• Promote cultural richness that celebrates the neighborhood and residents.
• Maintain housing affordability to ensure that no residents are displaced.
• Maintain the single-family character of the neighborhood while still welcoming new types of housing.
The plan announced today would help address Toledo's urgent and growing need to create more affordable housing opportunities. The recent city-commissioned 10-year housing plan report found there is a shortage of 12,705 units for people with extremely low incomes. Data from the city's report show the average Toledo household earns just $39,000 - about 30% less than the state average, and about 40% less than the national average. An estimated 25% of Toledoans live in poverty, roughly twice as high as both the state and national averages.
The problem is most severe for Toledoans earning the least. Approximately one-third of households (38,575) in Toledo are cost-burdened, spending at least 30% of their income on housing. Of those households, half of them (19,350) are considered "severely cost-burdened," meaning they spend more than 50% of their income on housing.