First-of-its-kind — Richards Crossing — set to open in Carson City April
March 15, 2017
CARSON CITY — A few more finishing touches and Richards Crossing will open its doors next month.
After breaking ground nine months ago, the 39-unit homeless housing complex on Jeanell Drive in Carson City is nearly complete and looking forward to a grand opening in early April.
In the next few weeks, the elevators for the two-story structure will be inspected, furniture for each of the 38 tenant units delivered, and game tables, computers, and books donated by Friends of the Carson City Library Browsers Corner Book Store installed for the building's game, computer lab and library.
"We raised all the money to furnish it," said Carson City Supervisor Lori Bagwell, who is on Friends in Service Helping's board of directors and spearheaded fundraising to fully equip each apartment. "I'm just thrilled at the community's acceptance of this project. We've had no pushback. I'm humbled that in Carson City we have people with such good hearts."
The complex also includes a 2,400 square-foot job training center where various providers can come to train residents and clients as well as office space for other service providers such as mental health counselors and life skills trainers.
"It's the first of its kind in Nevada. Other organizations provide similar housing, but their supportive services are nearby and not on site," said Heather Simola, real property administrator, Nevada Rural Housing Authority (NRHA).
NRHA and Nevada Rural Housing Inc. were co-developers on the project, which was funded by low-income housing tax credits, HOME program funds through Nevada Housing Division, Community Development Block Grant funds from Carson City, and Federal Home Loan Bank Affordable Housing Program funds.
It started as a $7 million project but grew to about $8.5 million, said Simola, mostly because of the addition of some security measures such as cameras and doors with window panels.
The 1.7-acre parcel of land it sits on was donated by Garth Richards.
Richards Crossing also has an onsite property manager, who lives in the 39th unit and will take over much of the leasing process.
The federal rental assistance housing vouchers subsidizing the costs are dedicated to the project and eight of them are designated for veterans.
NRHA is in the process now of evaluating applications. More than 50 people were on the waiting list at last count.
NRHA planned to contact the individuals, but after the property manager takes over.
"We streamlined the process. It's all the same paperwork and we share documents. It should be a lot easier with this than it is on other properties," said Jeni Chavez, NRHA director of rental and housing programs.
The goal is for people to get on their feet, get job training and other skills, find work and eventually move out once their income exceeds the limit to be on the program.
"This is not transitional housing, it's permanent supportive and they'll live there until they can move into the regular rental market," said Chavez.
Each apartment is 520-square feet and includes a kitchen, living room, bedroom and bath.
Four of the units are outfitted for disabled tenants and up to three people are allowed to live in each apartment.
Outside, off a large community room, is a dog park area for resident's pets and planned raised garden beds.
"It's the best looking building on the block," said Simola.