A groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday marked construction of a new apartment complex for Carson City’s homeless population.
Richards Crossing, named after Garth Richards who donated the 1.7-acre parcel, will be transitional housing comprising 39,520 square-feet of apartments.
Eight units will be reserved for chronically homeless veterans and the remainder available for more vets, disabled and other homeless citizens.
The Jeanell Drive site also will include a 3,000 square-foot building to be used for job training to assist residents in finding work and transition out of the facility in three to 18 months.
Mayor Bob Crowell, Supervisor Lori Bagwell and representatives from Nevada Rural Housing Authority, Friends in Service Helping, Gov. Brian Sandoval’s office and others involved in the project were on hand to celebrate its start.
“I’m so Carson proud that we’ve been able to make such progress in a short time frame,” said Jim Peckham, executive director, FISH.
Crowell, a veteran, donated $1,400 to help outfit one of the apartments with bedding, towels, kitchen equipment and other living essentials, part of a fundraising effort spearheaded by Bagwell.
People can donate money — $1,425 completely supplies one unit — or buy items listed on a registry for Richards Crossing at Walmart.
“We’ve had one guy buy coffee pots for every unit,” said Bagwell after the ceremony.
The idea for Richards Crossing started when Bagwell, who’s on the FISH Board of Directors and was president at the time, met with Richards while campaigning for supervisor.
That resulted in Richards’ donating the Jeanell Drive land and a 40-year-old office building, which was eventually torn down when it was determined the building couldn’t be rehabbed for residential use.
“Without the donation of the land from Garth Richards and his family this would not have been possible,” said D. Gary Longaker, executive director, NRHA, who hosted the event.
Richard Crossings also will include room for an onsite property manager and space for a laundry room, computer lab and meeting rooms, said Eddie Hult, director of real estate operations, NRHA, after the event.
After three months, tenants must provide a security deposit, participate in job training and do some housekeeping of common areas to continue to reside there.
“We plan to attrition through in 12 months, maybe 18 months,” said Hult. “The average should be six to 12 months.”
Carson City Health & Human Services is hoping to put together a program in which residents can borrow and repay the security deposit in order to establish some credit, said Mary Jane Ostrander, division manager, human services.
The project is being funded by $6.2 million in low-income housing tax credits, $1 million in HOME program funds through Nevada Housing Division, Community Development Block Grant funds from Carson City, and Federal Home Loan Bank Affordable Housing Program funds.
Q&D Construction Inc. is the general contractor on the project and has been working on it since early May.
So far, the underground utilities have gone in and the foundation is about to be poured.
The project is scheduled to be finished in spring 2017.
Nevada Rural Housing Inc. is the project’s co-developer, along with NHRA. The architect is Stephen Harriman of Harriman Kinyon Architects in Walnut Creek, Calif., and the consultant is Praxis Consulting Group in Reno.