By Elizabeth Lenart | Contributor
DALLAS, TEXAS – Juliette Fowler Communities (JFC) has announced plans to construct a 144-unit senior housing community, the Juliette Fowler Residences, for limited-to-moderate-wealth seniors. A groundbreaking for the $24 million development at JFC’s 25-acre location at 1234 Abrams Road in East Dallas, is planned for early 2021 with move-in beginning in May 2022. JFC was awarded tax credit financing through The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs’ (TDHCA) competitive tax credit process which enabled the organization to move forward with its plans.
“We couldn’t be more excited that our ‘field of dreams’ is now becoming a reality to help meet the tremendous need for housing faced by the ‘forgotten middle’ seniors in our community,” said Nicole Gann, president and CEO, Juliette Fowler Communities. “This severe lack of affordable housing with supportive services is a national problem, and part of our goal with this new development is to bring this serious issue to light by educating our community, supporters, and funders that this is a looming crisis.”
Nationally, the middle-income senior population is expected to double by 2029 to 14.35 million (all 75+) with only 46 percent able to afford any form of senior housing. A 2019 study by the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care (NIC) shows that 54 percent of middle-income seniors could need housing and care by 2029. Most middle-income seniors will have health needs that present challenges for living at home: 8 percent will have cognitive impairment; 60 percent will have mobility limitations; and 20 percent will have high healthcare and functional needs, having at least three chronic conditions and needing help with at least one activity of daily living.
According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Policy Development and Research, communities with housing affordability and accessibility of services contribute to the ability of seniors to successfully age.
“This type of environment with extraordinary care and the opportunity for meaningful interactions will, without a doubt, delay or avoid some health challenges, which call for expensive healthcare options in the future,” added Gann. “By offering an affordable independent living option, more seniors will be able to benefit from living in community, instead of deteriorating alone.”
Fowler currently offers a mix of programs that range from high-to-moderate-priced independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing, and rehabilitation to affordable senior housing for those with extremely low incomes.
“Many seniors come to Fowler unable to afford our higher priced apartments, but they do not qualify for our lower income housing,” continued Gann. “This is especially heartbreaking for those with no family support and no place to turn. They are often afraid and alone. Additionally, gentrification of neighborhoods is also a serious problem for many, making their residences unaffordable and pushing them out of homes they have lived in for years.”
“Juliette Fowler Residences will bridge this critical gap in Dallas-area available housing, offering these seniors, ‘the forgotten middle,’ the benefit of aging successfully in a quality and affordable community.”
Gann added, “We anticipate reducing medical costs and falls and improving their overall mental health. Here, they will be a part of an engaging community where they can thrive and enjoy life.”
The Juliette Fowler Residences, a three-story apartment building with 144-units will offer floorplans from studio to a two-bedroom, ranging from 555 to 950 square feet, for seniors ages 62 and up. Apartments will include all appliances, including washers and dryers. The monthly rental program will benefit individuals with limited-to-moderate wealth who are on fixed incomes. An onsite service coordinator will be available to assist residents in securing services such as transportation, food, and other needs including aging support along with helping them to navigate healthcare. Amenities include an art room, library, fitness program and gym, business center, courtyard, access to an onsite chaplain, a chapel, pools, community gardens, and walking trails.
Additionally, JFC features the only dementia care program in Dallas, and one of only three in Texas, certified in the I’m Still Here® approach, a unique paradigm shift in memory care. As an I’m Still Here® Center for Excellence in Dementia Care, JFC provides an engagement-focused program connecting with those living with Alzheimer’s and related dementias through abilities that do not diminish with time. By offering families and professionals ways to emotionally connect with loved ones through communication techniques and life enrichment, this program sparks creativity and engagement, helping them to thrive.
The JFC application to TDHCA for funding was one of 11 to receive the tax credit awards from the TDHCA and was the highest scoring application in the Urban Region 3, earning the highest award amount of $1.5 million over ten years. To qualify for this funding for the development, all apartments must be designated for older adult households earning 30 percent, 50 percent, and 60 percent of the area’s median incomes. The tax credit award, a crucial first step to construction, invites investors to fund the construction of the development in return for reducing their tax bill.
The remainder of the funding will come through a combination of traditional financing and donor support. “Our namesake, Juliette Peak Fowler, showed us what community could be and taught us to invite others to be part of the dream,” shared Gann. “Juliette sought innovative solutions for the problems of early Dallas. We continue that tradition today by bringing together a collaborative force of business leaders and philanthropists who share our vision for our community and its seniors.”
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Juliette Fowler Communities is a faith-based, intergenerational community of residents at various life-stages. Located on 25 acres, Juliette Fowler Communities provides independent and assisted living, a Five-Star Quality Rated skilled nursing and rehabilitation center, memory care and affordable senior housing. As the only certified I’m Still Here® Center for Excellence in Dementia Care in Dallas and one of only three in Texas, Fowler’s program employs evidence-based techniques to adapt experiences to an individual’s cognitive abilities and strengths. It has also been named a Great Place to Work in the Aging Services Industry in 2018, 2019 and 2020. Additionally, on the grounds is The Ebby House, a residence for young women, ages 18-24, at risk for homelessness due to neglect, abuse, and aging out of the foster care system. The Ebby House program instills life skills and provides mentoring, health care, education, career guidance and job training. Additional services of Juliette Fowler Communities include foster and adoption services. Visit fowlercommunities.org or call 214.827.0813.