News & Views
Grand Opening of Cincinnati’s First LGBTQ+-Friendly Senior Affordable Housing
John Arthur Flats adds 57 brand-new apartments in the Northside neighborhood
(Cincinnati, OH) – Northsiders Engaged in Sustainable Transformation (NEST) and Pennrose were joined by local officials to celebrate the grand opening of John Arthur Flats, Cincinnati’s first LGBTQ+-friendly affordable senior housing community. Located at 4145 Apple Street in the Northside neighborhood, the new development adds 57 brand-new, high-quality affordable apartments for seniors 55+.
Speakers included Council Member Reggie Harris, Council Member, City of Cincinnati; Shawn Smith, Executive Director, Ohio Housing Finance Agency; Royce Sutton, Senior VP, OHIO CED Market Manager, Fifth Third Bank; Dawn Grace, Vice President Housing & Community Investment, FHLB of Cincinnati; Sarah Thomas, Executive Director, NEST; Linda Seiter, CEO, Caracole; Robert Copeland, CEO, Equitas Health; Jim Obergefell, Spouse of John Arthur; Timothy I. Henkel, Principal and President, Pennrose, LLC; Will Basil, Developer, Pennrose, LLC.
The three-story, elevator building includes studio, one-, and two-bedroom apartments available at 30% to 60% of the Area Media Income (AMI), with rents ranging from $444 to $1,212. The new community helps meet the demand for inclusive, affordable housing in the region, where the National Low Income Housing Coalition reports only 43 available rental homes per every 100 low-income renter in Ohio. Studies also show that LGBTQ+ seniors experience higher rates of housing discrimination and poverty, making them especially at-risk of housing vulnerability.
"NEST is thrilled to see this project come to fruition, bringing long-awaited affordable housing to our community. Northside is a dense, vibrant neighborhood in which our newest neighbors will be able to flourish and enjoy the strong community around them,” said Sarah Thomas, Executive Director with NEST. “Our partnership with Pennrose has delivered exactly what we envisioned - a thoughtfully planned and well executed project providing safe, affordable housing to those who need it most."
The brand-new apartments feature modern kitchens with electric range and dishwasher; spacious closets; carpeted bedroom and vinyl living areas; ceramic-tiled baths; and central A/C. Pet-friendly units are also available. Residents will also enjoy ample on-site, community amenities, including an inviting resident lounge; on-site laundry; modern fitness center; outdoor terrace and picnic area; wellness suite; pet playground; professionally landscaped grounds, on-site management team; and more.
In addition, residents will have access to robust on-site supportive services, including social programming, community events, and medical care. Services will be provided through Pennrose Management Company, CAIN (Churches Active in Northside), and Caracole, the Greater Cincinnati region’s nonprofit AIDS Service Organization.
“Our country is facing a severe housing affordability crisis, and we’re proud to work with NEST to help close this gap in Cincinnati with high-quality, affordable housing paired with tailored on-site supportive services,” said Timothy I. Henkel, principal and president at Pennrose. “Many LGBTQ+ seniors have faced decades of discrimination, and we hope John Arthur Flats serves as a model for other cities to create inclusive housing options where seniors can live authentically and age in place comfortably.”
The development also celebrates local LGBTQ+ advocacy and history. The community is named in recognition of the late John Montgomery Arthur, a Cincinnati native and husband of the plaintiff in the Supreme Court case that legalized same-sex marriage in the United States. In addition, the community room is named in honor of the late Maureen Wood, a long-time Northsider and LGBTQ+ neighborhood pioneer.
This $13 million redevelopment is financed with an award of Low Income Housing Tax Credits from the Ohio Housing Finance Agency, equity syndicated by CREA, HOME funding from the City of Cincinnati, an award from the Affordable Housing Program of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati and debt underwritten by Fifth Third Bank.
Pennrose is committed to developing high-quality, affordable LGBTQ+-inclusive housing across the country. Most recently, Pennrose celebrated the groundbreaking of The Pryde, the transformation of a 1920s school into Boston’s first designated LGBTQ+-friendly housing development.