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Huntsville City Council moves to aid area’s homeless, other vulnerable groups

HUNTSVILLE – Homelessness is not just a big city problem, though it does present a bigger challenge where populations are higher. The Huntsville City Council, representing a fast growing metro area, is allocating money to agencies that work to loosen the grip street living has on some communities.

In two moves at its regular meeting Thursday night, the council approved projects to aid homeless and other vulnerable groups. A major project on the way is a 42-unit multi-family development partially supported by American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to provide safe, affordable housing for those communities.

(City of Huntsville contributed)

“There’s a grant coming through Community Development to New Horizon,’’ David Little, council president and representative of District 2, told 256 Today. “That’s a big deal. It’s gonna be in District 1 and end up being about a $15 million development. That’ll be great.’’

The facility will be on Venona Avenue on land owned by Neighborhood Concepts Inc. Neighborhood Concepts will leverage the cCity’s commitment of $2,300,376 in HOME Investment Partnerships ARPA funding to apply for $12.8 million in state funding through the Alabama Housing Finance Authority.

The development, to be known as New Stone Commons Apartments, will provide affordable housing for homeless, formerly homeless and those fleeing domestic violence. Supportive services will be available to residents, and the building’s design will include individual and group meeting rooms for case management assistance.

“We are excited to be moving forward on this development that will benefit our most vulnerable communities,” Director of Community Development Scott Erwin said. “In addition to the homes, the services available to residents are a crucial part of this project.”

The development property will be owned by New Stone Commons, a to-be-formed limited liability company. Neighborhood Concepts and New Futures, both Huntsville non-profit organizations, will serve as members of the LLC.

Completion of New Stone Commons Apartments is expected by December 2025.

In another move, the City of Huntsville, with the support of the council, is spreading $384,000 in critical funding among nine area nonprofits in a collective mission to aid individuals facing homelessness or are at risk.

Community Development will soon distribute Emergency Solutions Grant funds from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs to agencies in Madison, Morgan and Limestone counties. The following agencies will receive funds: 

  • AshaKiran – $25,000 
  • Community Action Partnership of Huntsville/Madison & Limestone County – $89,000 
  • Crisis Services of North Alabama – $20,000 
  • Family Services Center – $50,000 
  • First Stop – $90,000 
  • Hands Across Decatur – $20,000 
  • New Futures – $35,000
  • North Alabama Coalition for the Homeless – $25,000 
  • The Salvation Army – $30,000 

Enacted in 1987, the ESG Program is funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) with grants to be used for street outreach, emergency shelter, rental assistance and more. ADECA administers the ESG Program on behalf of HUD. 

To learn more about the City’s Community Development Department, click here

 

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