The Miami-based developer, Carrfour, has received federal funding for renovating Harvard House Apartments in North Miami Beach in order to provide 56 affordable housing units. The money is allocated through the US Department of Housing and Urban Development Neighborhood Stabilization Program 2 (NSP2).
The purpose of the NSP program is to help revitalize neighbourhoods that have been negatively impacted by abandoned or foreclosed properties due to the recession, and Carrfour has received a total of $17 million in NSP2 funds which are granted to affordable housing developers looking to restore abandoned or distressed multi-family properties. It has to spend 50% of its allocation by next February or the money will be returned to the government. This isn't as easy as it sounds, as all cash transactions are increasing, and developers are finding it harder to source suitable NSP2 properties.
Harvard House is Carrfour’s first acquisition under the government program, and the firm is already searching for properties on which to spend its remaining allocation. Harvard House has a $5.6 million budget which includes the initial purchase price of $1.2 million, $3 million in renovation and buildings costs, and another $1.4 million in relocation expenditures and planning costs. It's expected that the finished renovation will house around 170 people.
Miami Dade County has been allocated $89 million through the NSP2 program, and according to Carrfour’s director, Stephanie Berman, "Carrfour’s purchase of Harvard House is a prime example of how federal stimulus dollars allocated at the local level are improving communities. Had it not been for this purchase, the property would have likely fallen into foreclosure. Now we are giving the complex a second life, and making a meaningful impact in the lives of individuals and families in search of an affordable place to call home."
Once completed, the building will have one, two and three-bedroom units, with 28 being allocated to residents with incomes below 50% of the area median income. The building is located at 2020 N. East 169th Street in North Miami Beach, Florida, and offers residents access to a gymnasium, computer room, basketball court, playground, picnic area and laundry room. Carrfour will operate and manage the building once renovation is completed.
Carrfour is a non-profit organization founded in 1993 by the Homeless Committee of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce with the aim of providing permanent housing and supportive services for homeless individuals and families in Miami Dade County and other cities in Florida.