Graham Kilmer
MKE County

Bader Philanthropies Supports Affordable Housing Project in Franklin

Will buy land for affordable housing project for adults with disabilities.

By - May 13th, 2024 07:10 pm

Project site for supportive affordable housing project at 7521 S. 31st St. in the city of Franklin. Photo courtesy of Communities of Crocus.

A county-backed affordable housing project in the City of Franklin is getting a boost from Bader Philanthropies.

The Milwaukee non-profit will donate $450,000 to purchase the land for the project at 7521 S. 31st St., which will provide supportive and affordable housing for individuals with intellectual disabilities.

Communities of Crocus affordable housing project in Franklin. Renderings by HGA Architects and Engineers.

The $37 million project is being developed by Communities of Crocus (COC), a new nonprofit created to develop affordable housing for people with disabilities. The Franklin development is the organization’s first project. Milwaukee County is supporting the project with $2.5 million from the county’s allocation of federal funding through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The county set aside $15 million from this pool of funding for suburban affordable housing projects.

“This amazing grant utilized towards the purchase of a beautiful piece of land brings us one step closer to making dreams come true for many adults with [intellectual and developmental disabilities] and their families,” said Amy Hansel, President of COC.

Hansel cofounded COC with Emily Peters in 2022. They both have children with autism and Down Syndrome.

“Independence is something that most families take for granted,” Peter said in a statement Monday, adding that it’s something many families have long thought was simply unattainable.

“Bader Philanthropies is pleased to be on the ground floor, literally and figuratively, of this project,” said Claudia Martinez, Bader Philanthropies grants director. “Communities of Crocus’ thoughtful vision for creating an inclusive community for adults with autism and similar intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) highlights the dignity and compassion that exists in the world.”

The project will be developed in phases. During the first phase, COC will develop three care homes, adding up to 12 living units, for adults 18 and older. These care homes will be for individuals that need around-the-clock care, Hansel told the county board’s Committee on Community Environment and Economic Development Monday. Phase one will also involve the development of a center providing supportive services and programming for the adults living in the care homes. Eventually, COC would like to redevelop a fourth care home for individuals with medical needs.

Once the care homes are finished, COC plans to develop a 32-unit supportive apartment building. “And those will be for individuals that don’t have as many needs and supports,” Hansel said. “But they also need to live in a place that’s affordable for them.”

COC is hoping to break ground on the project in the fall of this year, or the spring of 2025, Hansel said.

“The thought that someday soon adult children who have been dependent upon their parents since birth will be able to live in their own homes, develop friendships, and pursue activities in an inclusive supportive community is such a gift,” Hansel said. “We are extremely grateful to Bader Philanthropies for their belief in our mission and support in helping us move this project forward.”

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Categories: MKE County, Real Estate

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