Families are nearly settled into 41 new three-bedroom homes recently completed in Pine Lawn.
The $10.5 million Pine Lawn Manor, developed by Beyond Housing, is bringing more affordable housing to the north St. Louis County municipality. The community development corporation also built a $7 million development that includes 31 single-family three-bedroom homes in 2017.
President and CEO Chris Krehmeyer said affordable housing is critical for families that live in Pine Lawn and around the region. He said turning vacant lots into new homes helps bring communities back to life.
“It leads to higher property values, which leads to higher tax base, which leads to more resources for schools and police and all the other things,” Krehmeyer said.
The new homes sit along Beachwood and Oakwood avenues.
Beyond Housing owns more than 500 affordable housing units throughout St. Louis County, most of them single-family homes and almost all within the Normandy Schools Collaborative.
Krehmeyer said helping families get into an affordable, safe place to live gives them the “power of home,” and helps fuel better things.
“So our work, yes, is about building buildings, but quite frankly it’s really about serving families,” he said, “about serving single moms with kids and then offering them a variety of services and supports to allow them to live their best lives possible.”
That’s especially true for Mary Harris.
She and her family recently moved into one of the new homes. Harris said receiving the home was “surreal,” and with the help of the organization she was able to get back on track.
“Beyond Housing gave me that support,” she said, “and me achieving my goals as far as financial education, goals, business mindset, the whole nine. To have that support just within a community is phenomenal.”
Newly elected St. Louis County Councilwoman Rita Days also spoke at the unveiling on Thursday. Days, previously the community liaison for the Missouri Housing Development Commission, said in her current role she wants to bring more affordable housing to the region.
“I think that because you need affordable housing does not mean you live in squalor or communities that are not conducive for raising a family for healthy living and for a fantastic environment,” Days said.
The Pine Lawn Manor development was funded through low-income housing tax credits from the Missouri Housing Development Commission, as well as St. Louis Equity Fund, Enterprise Bank and Trust and an anonymous private foundation.
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