$8.25 million FCLF financing
40 supportive housing units + community center
Saint Stephen’s Way was formed in 2012 as a faith-based nonprofit with the sole mission of providing affordable housing with supportive services to homeless families with school-aged children in Brevard County. For several years the organization searched for a suitable property; the search led to 8 acres of undeveloped land on Crane’s Creek near downtown Melbourne. The land was donated by the People of Destiny Christian Fellowship Church, formerly the Tabernacle Church, which had been entrusted with the property owned by a missionary couple who wanted the land to be used for God’s work.
With construction financing from Florida Community Loan Fund, SSW will build forty 3-bedroom apartments in 8 buildings, along with the Holman Community Center, named for missionary Nellie Holman. An existing single-family home on site will house administrative offices and a caretaker’s residence. SSW will meet critical housing needs for families with incomes below 50% of the area median income in Brevard County, and provide access to resident services from area agencies including Housing Authority of Brevard’s Resident Opportunity and Self Sufficiency (ROSS) Program, as well as supportive services offered by key service partners including Catholic Charities, Brevard Health Alliance and others. Through the 40 apartments and related services, SSW expects to serve 40 families, (between 124 and 240 area residents), annually, and the project is estimated to create 3 permanent jobs and 50 temporary construction jobs.
Saint Stephen’s Way is located in a census tract where the average household income is at 36% of the Area Median Income (AMI), 37% of residents live below the poverty line, and 63% of residents are minority. The City of Melbourne is in support of the project and will permanently defer a portion of development and impact fees for the project. Long-term affordability of the homes will be ensured through a land use restriction agreement with the City.
City of Melbourne Mayor Paul Alfrey said in February about the Saint Stephens Way project: “When the stress that parents’ face due to poor living conditions and the worry of how they will be able to afford their rent is removed, their children's emotional and behavioral problems greatly improve. As a consequence, when the financial burden is removed from parents' shoulders, financial resources can now be invested into the children's health, education and future.”
FCLF received a Capital Magnet Fund (CMF) award from the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund, which allowed FCLF to offer more favorable terms to SSW to further help the project be successful.