APACHE ASL TRAILS
Apache ASL Trails in Tempe, AZ has won a 2012 Charles L. Edson Tax Credit Excellence Award in the Special Needs Housing category.
Photos courtesy of Cardinal Capital Management, Inc.
Apache ASL Trails is designed to accommodate all kinds of disabilities and, particularly, to eliminate the isolation experienced by seniors with hearing loss. Advocacy groups for the deaf across the nation paid close attention to this development, as the growing numbers of deaf seniors pose a real housing challenge in every community. To truly support deaf seniors, it is necessary to commit to a design that incorporates unique building features for a more visually oriented environment and to hiring deaf management staff members who can easily interact with deaf residents.
Located in Tempe, Arizona, Apache ASL Trails provides 75 affordable units to this underserved population. In addition to a transit-oriented location, the property incorporates a number of supportive services within the building to provide accessibility for residents to medical services, case work services, and interpretation in American Sign Language. These services also reach the surrounding neighborhood, which integrates the resident population within the existing neighborhood dynamic, and provides new service opportunities for families living nearby.
Vista Medical Group is located onsite, providing internal medicine services for its many residents. Valley Center of the Deaf maintains a satellite office in the building and provides counseling services that can link residents with benefits administration, financial assistance, transportation assistance, interpretation, socialization, and educational opportunities. In addition to the ground floor commercial space, Apache ASP Trails provides a community room, beauty salon, fitness center, laundry facilities, and lounge space.
Individual apartments are designed with accessibility features that address all categories of disability. The property includes strobe lights on all smoke detectors and other emergency sirens. Lighted switches for garbage disposal, range fan, and bathroom fan provide visual clues that equipment is in use – which is not generally available in standard apartments. Accessibility features for residents with mobility impairments and physical disabilities are found throughout the building. Handrails are located on both sides of common hallways, automatic door openers have been installed at main entrances, and all washer and dryers are front loading. Five units meet the Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards for persons with mobility disabilities which exceed the new construction housing requirement of 5 percent.
The financing for this property was adversely affecting by the economic implosion of 2008 losing its construction financing and equity partner. The Arizona Department of Housing demonstrated its commitment to seeing the property developed by walking Cardinal Capital Management through the complicated process of returning Credits and reapplying in 2009. Ultimately, Redstone Equity Group provided $10 million in Housing Credit equity to fund construction costs. The total development cost of Apache ASL Trails was $16,700,618.