The 50-unit affordable housing community has been in the works for the last several years. After more than $16 million in commitments from numerous partners, the community is welcoming its first families.
“This is one of the high points of what we’ve done over the last four to five years: building on creating a piece of what we hope is a platform for many families; a piece of the American dream,” East Akron Neighborhood Development Corporation President and CEO Cheryl Stephens said. “Someplace safe, affordable to live, that is near or easily accessible to things like school and grocery stores and places to work.”
Stephens said Summit County needs roughly 16,000 affordable housing units to cover the need. The I PROMISE Housing community is a start.
“We bought into the concept that the American dream provides you with the ability to get a decent education, an opportunity for quality housing and an opportunity to get a decent job and work hard so you can continue to offer those things to your children,” she said.
The LeBron James Family Foundation is a key collaborator in this development. The organization will help to provide wraparound support for residents that includes job and family services, medical and mental health care, educational and career advancement training and financial literacy.
The two-, three- and four-bedroom apartments are fully modern and come equipped with double-fiber Wi-Fi. There are also community and fitness rooms, bicycle storage and mobility and sensory units on the property.
Stephens said it feels great to see the families move in and make the kids feel welcome at I PROMISE.
“Kids sleep better here, so they learn better, going to school from a place where they rested, feeling safe and secure every night,” she said.
Families began moving into their units at the end of May, but applications to become a resident are available online. Stephens expects the community to be filled by September.
“Our staff will work with you to try and figure out ways to make it affordable for you,” she said. “We also partner with the housing authority, and they have some vouchers. They’re willing to work with families on to get the rents down low enough to allow families to afford this quality housing opportunity.”