JCHA’s Keystone Development builds six units
THDA grant helps build sober living apartments in Johnson City
March 7, 2023 – Tennessee Housing Development Agency joined the Johnson City Housing Authority to celebrate the opening of new housing for people recovering from opioid addiction.
The six apartment units were built with the help of a $500,000 grant from THDA and will be used in a “Housing First” approach to combat opioid addiction. The grant was awarded under the Creating Homes Initiative – 2 (CHI-2) program, which THDA is operating in collaboration with the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.
“Stable housing plays an important role in recovering from drug abuse and addiction,” THDA Executive Director Ralph M. Perrey said. “This supportive housing will help Johnson City better accommodate residents hoping to rebuild their lives as they recover from addiction.”
JCHA and Keystone Development CEO/Executive Director Sam Edwards said the housing authority is collaborating with Frontier Health and other local nonprofits and treatment facilities to refer residents to the new apartments.
"In order to address substance abuse in Johnson City, there has to be coordination between the various stakeholders," Edwards said. "We think this model of providing ‘Housing First’ and partnering with local treatment providers will help us better address that and see more positive long-term outcomes for residents."
Edwards said the “Housing First” model the units will be operated under emphasizes immediate access to housing in order facilitate better treatment outcomes.
The six one-bedroom units are called Myrtle Court and are located on Steel Street in Johnson City. The individual units will be open to male or female residents who earn less than 80 percent of the Area Median Income.
In addition to the grant funding from THDA, JCHA’s development nonprofit, Keystone Development, contributed just over $358,000 in matching funds towards the project’s construction. Edwards said the final cost of construction came in $100,000 under budget thanks to much of the work being done in-house by Keystone Development.
Edwards said the housing authority plans to begin leases the apartments as soon as possible.
THDA operates the CHI – 2 Program in collaboration with the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services in an effort to fund creative and innovative proposals that expand permanent recovery housing options for individuals recovering from an Opioid Use Disorder (OUD).
The THDA Board of Directors set aside $3 million to fund the initial 2020 grant round, with the maximum grant award amount set at $500,000. The program is open to private organizations, non-profit organizations and local public housing authorities. All housing funded through the CHI-2 Program must be rental and address the housing needs of households recovering from OUD, with incomes at-or-below 80 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI).