Sulzbacher is piecing together federal and state financing for its estimated $46 million Enterprise Village affordable housing and homelessness services project in Northwest Jacksonville.
Nonprofit President and CEO Cindy Funkhouser said by email Jan. 30 that Sulzbacher applied for $28 million in U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Low-Income Housing Tax Credits and accompanying funding.
That’s after the Jacksonville City Council voted 19-0 on Jan. 24 to approve a $12 million forgivable loan for the Sulzbacher project with money provided by HUD through the American Rescue Plan act of 2021.
During committee meetings Jan. 17-18, Funkhouser told Council members the Sulzbacher Enterprise Village is the second step in the nonprofit’s plan to relocate its services out of Downtown.
Sulzbacher, which provides services to people experiencing homelessness in Jacksonville, has been Downtown at 611 E. Adams St. since 1995.
It is in year 29 of a 35-year lease with the city and pays $1 per year.
Expected to be completed by Sept. 30, 2025, Sulzbacher Enterprise Village will have 100 studio and one-bedroom units built on 16.88 acres on Walgreen Road, west of Interstate 95 and east of Brentwood Golf Course.
Plans show the campus will include a 60,000-square-foot administration building with short-term housing and 60,000 square feet of transitional workforce housing.
It will also have a 45,000-square-foot community clinic and respite care building and a 7,600-square-foot center for job skills training.
The first step in the nonprofit’s move from Downtown was in 2018 when it opened Sulzbacher Village: A Community for Women and Families at 5455 Springfield Blvd.
“We feel that this model, which is working beautifully at the Sulzbacher Village for Women and Families ... is a great model because this isn’t just the housing,” Funkhouser told the Council Neighborhoods, Community Services, Public Health & Safety Committee on Jan. 17.
City lawmakers approved the $12 million appropriation in an emergency vote on Ordinance 2023-21.
According to the Council Auditor’s Office, Sulzbacher also will apply for $5 million from the Florida Housing Finance Corp. by a Jan. 31 deadline.
The state money will allow Sulzbacher to apply for the 9% tax credits as opposed to 4% tax credits, according to the legislation.
According to the HUD website, the federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program has an $8 billion annual budget to give state and local agencies the authority to issue tax credits for acquisition rehabilitation, or new construction of rental housing targeted to lower-income households.
The Council ordinance appropriates $12,060,074 the city received from the Home Investment Partnerships Grant-American Rescue Plan program meant to provide homelessness assistance and services. The city will keep $60,074 to pay for administrative costs to oversee the forgivable loan agreement and disperse the money to Sulzbacher.
Sulzbacher is working with Jacksonville-based residential developer The Vestcor Companies to build the workforce housing.
For job skills it is working with Florida State College at Jacksonville and Goodwill Industries of North Florida.
The $46 million price tag for Sulzbacher Enterprise Village does not include the cost of plans to build a manufacturing facility on-site that Funkhouser says will provide 150 jobs for the people Sulzbacher serves.
She said Sulzbacher is negotiating with a for-profit manufacturing company that builds components for tiny homes and modular workforce housing to open a facility at the Enterprise Village.
“You have to have the wraparound services. You have to give people health services and income,” Funkhouser said Jan. 17.
“Income, in my mind, and job training is probably one of the most important wraparound services that we can give. That enables a person to raise themselves out of poverty.”
Funkhouser told Council members she estimates Jacksonville needs about 5,000 more units of affordable housing to alleviate the city’s affordable housing needs.
“This is just one piece of the puzzle,” she said. “We need affordable housing all throughout Jacksonville in everybody’s district because we’re short on so many units.”