Seniors, veterans get midtown option for low-income housing

Seniors, veterans get midtown option for low-income housing
TMM family services is celebrating the opening of two complexes that provide housing for low-income seniors and veterans. (Source: Emily Biehl)

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - TMM Family Services Inc. will cut the ribbon at two complexes in midtown Tucson on Wednesday, Oct. 24, giving a more centrally located housing option to low-income seniors and veterans.

The complexes are a bit of happy accident. Pima County’s Marcos Ysmael says the project was able to happen because other projects fell through. A portion of the money that helped pay for the complex comes from bonds passed by voters in 2004. The money from those bonds was originally allocated to other projects but once those projects fell through it allowed for the opportunity for the bond money to go to other projects like this one.

The complexes have 20 apartments for veterans and low-income seniors who live with a caregiver or family member. Ten of those 20 units have amenities for disabled residents. All of the homes are energy efficient to help cut costs for seniors and veterans living in them.

According to the Pima County Community Development, the need for affordable housing like this is very high, both in the county and across the country. There’s a uniqueness to these complexes in what they offer with the added space for caregivers and in the way that the complexes are more spread out, which may help veterans who suffer from PTSD and anxiety.

“We’ll be filling a small gap with this project but every unit counts,” Ysmael, the Pima County Community Development director, said.

The complexes were funded partially through a grant from HUD and their Home Investment Partnership Program along with a loan from Wells Fargo and the voter-approved general obligation bonds that were passed in 2004. The total cost of project was around $3.3 million, according to the county.

Ysmael says aside from the obvious, there are added benefits to the complexes that he hopes will help to break the often negative stigma of affordable housing.

“So many times, you know, communities have a tendency to put affordable housing on the fringe of the metropolitan area versus where services and amenities are. And with this project being centrally located and also being adjacent to TMM Family Services there will be access to those services,” he said.

Both complexes will allow easy access to the TMM Family Services commercial dining hall, activity and learning centers and athletic facilities at the TMM Family Services main campus on Country Club.

Currently a few of the spots in the complexes are leased to veterans and seniors but the county says that they anticipate all 20 being rented out by the end of next month.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony is set for 10:30 Wednesday morning at the project site at 3131 E. Lee Street.

Copyright 2018 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.