By Kelsey Keener
CEDAR CITY–Iron County Care and Share is partnering with The Vecino Group to bring a supportive housing apartment complex, called Libertad, to Cedar City.
The Vecino Group is a company dedicated to building projects that address community issues while giving back. Libertad will consist of three buildings with 80 total units of one to four-bedroom apartments, located at 1044 North Hovi Hills Drive.
Peggy Green, Executive Director of Iron County Care and Share, said this supportive housing complex will have on-site property and case management, and is intended to help people get back on their feet.
“Supportive housing is adjustable by someone’s income, so it’s good for fixed incomes, it’s good for those that are in the middle of a crisis,” she said. “But it comes with case management, which I think is the important part, because it’s meant to give someone the boost that they need.”
According to the Vecino Group, “supportive housing is decent, safe, affordable, community-based housing with flexible, voluntary services designed to help the individual or family stay housed and live a more productive life in the community.” The Vecino Group has built many similar projects in Saint Louis, Missouri, Colorado Springs, Colorado and Salt Lake City, and is under contract for 40 years to be responsible for the upkeep of Libertad.
Green also said the Vecino Group is not a typical development group.
“They go into neighborhoods and take over abandoned buildings and turn them into these great supportive housing projects so that they’re investing in the community, they’re giving it a face lift, they’re adding a housing need,” she said.
In addition, Green said Libertad will help with the growing housing need in Cedar City.
“(Libertad will) provide affordable housing for families and individuals,” she said. “Cedar City is rich in student housing, but there needs to be affordable housing for everyone else as well. This will be housing that matches our wages and our available employment in Iron County.”
Libertad will also feature a classroom and meeting room, as well as a recreational room with a full kitchen.
Green said supportive housing is intended to help individuals and families focus on improvement.
“When you’re looking at supported housing, you’re looking at folks who are interested and pointed in the direction of improvement and elevating their life,” she said. “You’re not just dealing with random individuals and families, these people are purposely going into a project to take the next steps.”