A decade ago, Caldwell’s Advocates Against Family Violence built the 48-unit Hope Plaza Apartments to offer permanent housing to the victims of domestic abuse housed at its shelter and anyone seeking affordable housing.
Today, the apartments, at 1508 Hope Lane, are bursting with a 98 percent occupancy rate, said Advocates Against Family Violence executive director Kim Deugan. The organization has provided shelter and social services programs to victims of domestic abuse, sexual assault and human trafficking for 15 years.
This week, the nonprofit received a grant from the Idaho Housing and Finance Association to build an additional 30-unit apartment complex next to its shelter and the Hope Plaza apartments.
“We’re really excited to be able to offer this not only to our community, but to those victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault,” Deugan said. “There’s a huge housing deficit, and we’re happy to be a part of that solution.”
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One in three women experience domestic violence at some point in their lives, Deugan said.
“We’ve seen all of this growth here in Canyon County — the numbers aren’t going to stop,“ she said.
The mixed-income apartment complex would be the first of its kind in Canyon County. It will include around 10 affordable housing units, three to four market-rate apartments, and the rest will be dedicated to transitional housing units for women and families served by the shelter.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development say mixed-income housing fosters interactions between people of different social-economic classes and can help expose low-income people to employment opportunities and “social role models,” according to a 2003 report.
The grant will cover $1.7 million of the estimated $6 million needed to build the new complex, she said.
Deugan also said that she hopes to construct a new shelter in the coming years. There is a “continual wait list” for one of the 28 rooms, which victims can use for up to 90 days.
“We have outgrown the one that we are in,” she said, noting that the she is still in the initial planning phases for that project.
Deugan aims to break ground in April or May and have people housed there by 2020.
Advocates Against Family Violence is the only organization providing housing to victims of domestic violence, according to the Idaho Council on Domestic Violence and Victim Assistance. In Boise, the Idaho Women’s and Children’s Alliance, 720 West Washington St., provides shelter to families.
Elmore County’s first safe house for domestic violence victims is expected to open in October 2019, with services opening onsite this coming spring, according to previous Idaho Statesman reporting.