- The property was acquired with a new social impact financing model designed to move veterans into permanent housing and preserve existing affordable housing.
- Jacksonville is one of 16 target large cities in Built for Zero chosen for this level of investment because they have built a successful strategic partnership ecosystem that has resulted in a 35 percent reduction in veteran homelessness since 2015.
- Built for Zero supports over 100 communities across the country that are working to measurably and equitably end homelessness. Jacksonville joined Built for Zero in 2015 and has since moved 1,715 veterans into permanent housing, proving that it could be one of the first large cities to reach functional zero, a measurable milestone for solving homelessness.
JACKSONVILLE, FL — Today, Community Solutions, a nonprofit dedicated to ending homelessness, announced the acquisition of a third property in Jacksonville, Florida, to accelerate community efforts to reduce veteran homelessness. The acquisition is part of a broader initiative to leverage a new social impact financing model to introduce additional real estate assets within certain communities participating in Community Solutions’ Built for Zero initiative.
Villager Apartments is the latest property acquired in Jacksonville using this new model. The property has 40 units, half of which will be dedicated to veterans exiting homelessness and half of which will be market-rate units intended to preserve existing affordable housing. Caroline Village was acquired first in April 2022 with 93 units, and French Courtyard was acquired in June 2022 with 42 units. These acquisitions were supported in part by a generous $10 million investment from Northern Trust, a global financial institution that has served clients in Florida for more than 50 years.
The 175 total units will implement approaches proven to promote long-term stability for all its residents. The properties will be managed by Apartment Management Consultants using an enhanced property management plus model that coordinates services and support to all tenants to ensure they can stay stably housed.
Jacksonville is one of 16 target large cities in Built for Zero chosen for this level of investment because they have built a successful strategic partnership ecosystem that has resulted in a 35 percent reduction in veteran homelessness since 2015. Built for Zero supports over 100 communities across the country that are working to measurably and equitably end homelessness, using a data-driven, systems approach.
This new model will acquire housing that will help select large cities accelerate their journey toward functional zero, a milestone for measurably ending homelessness for a population. Jacksonville is among other cities, like Denver, Sante Fe, and Nashville, using this new model to close the housing gap and quickly match veterans on their local by-name list with permanent housing.
David Foster, Manager of the Community Solutions Large Cities Housing Fund, said: “Through our Built for Zero initiative, we work with communities that are proving it is possible to reduce homelessness when they harness a data-driven, systems-focused approach. In the course of working toward zero, many communities — particularly large cities with tight housing markets — are also needing the means to create permanently affordable housing in a way that is faster and more adaptable than many traditional approaches allow. Thanks to this social impact investment model, we will be able to help many large cities accelerate their progress, while continuing to scale a model that offers cities across the country a way to crack this critical challenge for ending homelessness.”
As of March 8, 186 veterans were on Jacksonville’s real-time, by-name list. Of those veterans, 92 currently have a housing resource, such as a housing voucher or subsidy, and are looking for an available unit. However, there is not enough supply to move the qualified veterans into housing. Acquiring Villager Apartments and the two previous properties will help close that supply gap and provide local permanent housing and wrap-around services.
Lenny Curry, Jacksonville Mayor, said: “I am incredibly proud of the success we continue to have through our public, private, and philanthropic partnerships to reduce homelessness in Jacksonville. Working with Community Solutions, we have acquired a third property. This property increases the supply of affordable housing in Jacksonville and puts us within reach of effectively ending veteran homelessness in our community.”
Since 2015, the community has implemented the Built for Zero methodology and housed 1,715 veterans. Because of their progress, Jacksonville has moved into the pipeline for the Large City Last Mile cohort, meaning that the Built for Zero team thinks they could be one of the first large cities to reach functional zero.
Kally Canfield, Jacksonville’s Built for Zero System Improvement Advisor, said: “Jacksonville is proving that a large city can solve homelessness. While there are no overnight solutions, they have been dedicated to continuous system-level improvements and finding solutions to barriers that arise in order to achieve population-level reductions. By having a coordinated system and real-time, by-name data, they are able to know exactly what is needed to solve veteran homelessness, and these properties are one piece of that journey.”
Community Solutions is a nonprofit committed to creating a lasting end to homelessness that leaves no one behind. It leads Built for Zero, a movement of more than 90 communities in the United States working to measurably and equitably end homelessness. Using a data-driven methodology, these communities have changed how local systems work and the impact they can achieve. To date, 14 communities have reached a milestone known as functional zero, a milestone for ending homelessness for a population. Learn more at www.community.solutions or follow us at @CmtySolutions. Media Contact: Lauren Barnes, email@example.com
- Community Solutions: Lauren Barnes, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mayor Curry: Caroline Adkins, email@example.com
- Changing Homelessness: Monique Elton, firstname.lastname@example.org