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Top 5 Gladstone Residences myths debunked | The Homepage

By Juliet Martinez

A large brick school building stands behind a fence bearing a sign saying, "Gladstone Residences Project construction entrance. Stop"
Gladstone Residences on Hazelwood Avenue repurposes the former Gladstone School into housing. Homepage file photo by Matt Peters

As many readers are aware, Hazelwood Initiative and developer The Community Builders broke ground on the Gladstone Residences project last fall. The historic former Gladstone School is a beloved neighborhood landmark where generations of Hazelwood residents learned and grew.

When the repurposing of the building is complete, it will contain 51 one- and two-bedroom apartments, of which 43 will be affordable. Residents will have access to a top-floor lounge with skyline view, historic auditorium/community room, a health and wellness room and outdoor patio space.

Its renovation, preservation and adaptive reuse is in direct response to the expressed priorities of the community. But rumors and misunderstandings about the project abound. Can you tell myth from reality?

Myth: The apartments in Gladstone will be luxurious; only wealthy people will be able to afford them.

Reality: Tenants earning 60% or less of the area median income will rent 43 of these units. This means that a family of four with a combined household income of around $57,000 will be able to rent some of the apartments, while others will be rented to families earning significantly less than that based on income targets. And housing choice (Section 8) vouchers will be accepted and those tenants will pay no more than one-third of their income. In contrast, rents on the eight market-rate apartments will be quite a bit higher.

Myth: Gladstone Residences will be student housing.

Reality: The affordable housing in this building cannot be exclusively for full-time students due to the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) funding used for renovation. However, all students aren’t excluded. For example, renters who are working but in school part-time can live in the affordable housing. A tenant who is not a full-time student may have a child, roommate or partner who is. But if a group of full-time university students applies to rent a Gladstone Residences apartment they will share, they will be denied.

Myth: Only renters with a Section 8 housing voucher can live in Gladstone Residences.

Reality: Vouchers held by tenants are not required but will be accepted for affordable units. Others will offer what are called project-based housing vouchers. Project-based vouchers are attached to the housing development, not the tenant. So prospective renters who do not have a tenant-based Section 8 voucher can still apply at Gladstone.

Myth: Gladstone Residences units will not come with storage space.

Reality: Affordable housing funded with Low-Income Housing Tax Credits must have a minimum amount of storage space in each apartment. At Gladstone Residences, the units will have closets that meet or exceed this required amount of storage.

Myth: Gladstone Residences will not be accessible to people who use wheelchairs or have other disabilities.

Reality: Six of the building’s 51 units will be fully Americans with Disabilities Act compliant and accessible to tenants with physical disabilities. Two apartments will be equipped for hearing- and vision-impaired tenants.

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