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Unity Square Family Housing Provides 40 New Homes in East Waterloo, Iowa


Located at 100 Unity Square, Waterloo, IA, Unity Square converts an underutilized three-acre parcel of land to 40 high-quality, large family townhomes with comprehensive service programs for families and children.

CommonBond Communities, the region’s largest nonprofit housing developer, manager, and service provider announces the opening of Unity Square family housing located at 100 Unity Square, Waterloo, IA. The development converts an underutilized three-acre parcel of land to 40 high-quality, large family townhomes with comprehensive service programs for families and children. Initiated by the Sisters of Mercy West Midwest Community (formerly the Sisters of Mercy of Cedar Rapids, Iowa) and developed by CommonBond Communities, the housing brings to life their shared vision to provide affordable homes and services in the region. Unity Square meets the Iowa Green Streets criteria and Energy Star standards.

The grand opening event on Nov. 10, 2010 begins at 3:00 pm and is open to the public. A brief program begins at 3:15 and tours of the housing community are available from 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm.

Stabilizing Families, Building Vibrant Communities
The development will meet the critical needs of residents by providing a mix of two-, three-, and four-bedroom homes for families living on limited incomes. The housing will provide stability for working families and their children so they can maintain employment, advance their education, and increase the economic vitality of their families and add to the vibrancy of the surrounding neighborhood. The housing community will also include comprehensive on-site resident services that promote resident independence and success. A substantial donation from the Sisters of Mercy West Midwest Community is helping support these important services for residents.

On-site support is key, said Sister Kathy Thill, RSM, who has been involved in the project since its inception. “These services, which help residents and their families with mentoring, computer skills and job preparation and searches, can truly enhance their success and happiness.” In addition to the Sisters of Mercy, other key partnerships between CommonBond Advantage Services and public and private partners will assure residents have access to programs that meet their unique needs.

“We know we are only as good as our partners. CommonBond is honored to work side by side with Unity Neighborhood, Wells Fargo, The Sisters of Mercy, the city of Waterloo and the state of Iowa demonstrating that private, public and nonprofit partners can be a powerful force for change,” said Paul Fate, President and CEO of CommonBond Communities. According to Sister Thill, Unity Square is the culmination of years of efforts by the Sisters of Mercy to address Waterloo’s need for quality low income housing for the east side of the city.

An investment today creates strong futures
Financing for the $9.4 million Unity Square family housing was done primarily through Wells Fargo/Wachovia who provided the tax credit equity and construction loan financing. Low Income Housing Tax Credits and Tax Credit Assistance Program (federal stimulus funds) administered by Iowa Finance Authority were essential to making this development possible. Other key partners include the city of Waterloo, LHB Architects, Frana Companies, and Unity Neighborhood Association among others.

Media note: Executive interviews are available with Paul Fate, President and CEO, CommonBond, and Sister Kathy Thill, RSM, Ministry Director, of the Sisters of Mercy West Midwest Community.

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CommonBond Communities is the Upper Midwest's largest nonprofit provider of affordable housing with on-site services. We build stable homes, strong futures, and vibrant communities.

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Affordable Housing with Services

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