Hilltop to see new community housing
The Columbus Housing Network (CHN) is one step closer to establishing a new housing community on the Hilltop.
Inglewood Court, a 60-unit building, would be located at 3700 Sullivant Ave., just west of Wilson Road. The five-acre building would provide one-bedroom apartments for people disabled by mental illness and those with a history of homelessness.
The zoning variances required for development were approved by the Greater Hilltop Area Commission (GHAC) during their Jan. 6 meeting and will now go before Columbus City Council for final approval.
According to CHN, the site, which is located behind the Hilltop Business Center and next to the Hilltop Senior Village, was selected because it provides easy access to public transportation, employment areas and convenience shopping.
The development would provide its tenants with permanent supportive housing, which, according to a representative from CHN, includes social, health and employment services.
“This is an apartment they rent,” she said. “They sign a lease and are expected to pay rent. These are all services that help them remain stable and be successful residents.”
By living in a development such as Inglewood Court, residents are “wrapped” in whatever services they need to become successful. The receive treatment, find work and maintain stability. Support services are provided through CHN in partnership with Maryhaven.
The complex will include several common spaces for interaction, which is also a tool meant to help them return to a normal life in the community. They share rooms for meetings, television, laundry, a cafeteria and offices for on-sight services.
The building will also include several security cameras for the protection of both residents of the development and surrounding establishments. Cameras will be mounted in all common areas, including hallways, the perimeter of the building and the perimeter of the property.
Representatives of CHN stressed that residents of the building would not have a negative impact on the surrounding community.
The strict tenant selection policy automatically rejects any sex offenders and limits the criminal backgrounds accepted. A felony conviction would severely reduce an applicant’s chances of being granted a residency.
Tenants are required to be “good neighbors” and a failure to comply with building rules can result in eviction.
A similar housing unit run on the Westside by CHN is Briggsdale, located on Harrisburg Pike.
A community advisory committee was established during the planning process of Briggsdale - something that CHN hopes to develop with Inglewood Court as well. The committee provided input about the initial design of the building, as well as about how the establishment would be run.
The committee representing Briggsdale is still in effect and constantly monitors the building’s impact on the surrounding community. Quarterly surveys are sent out to neighboring residents asking them to rate the property from zero to five, with zero being the lowest possible score. Briggsdale consistently rates between 4.5 and five.
Before approving the project, the GHAC required CHN to obtain letters of support from surrounding businesses and organizations. Those letters were received from the Hilltop Senior Village and the Waters of Life church. None is required from the Hilltop Business Center, as it is the seller of the property.
The property will be managed by CHN, who will provide 24/7 security, on-site support staff and tenant services.
The estimated cost of the project is $7.5 million. Construction is expected to begin in 2010 and be completed in late 2011.
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