Innovative residential complex will give families all-inclusive support

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Steve Marcus

A panoramic view of an affordable housing complex being built by Nevada HAND on Boulder Highway near Desert Inn Road Monday, Jan. 23, 2017.

Sun, Jan 29, 2017 (2 a.m.)

Nevada HAND: By the numbers

• 28: affordable properties

• 3,100: housing units

• 1st: to develop permanent affordable housing for the chronically homeless (at 13 W. Owens Ave.)

• 24: years in operation

For children of families living in daily and weekly rental complexes on Boulder Highway, the quest for after-school activities is bleak.

The 3-mile stretch running from Desert Inn Road to Tropicana Avenue is peppered with empty dirt lots and boarded-up buildings. There are no parks within sight, and kids in the area are lucky if their complex has as much as a small strip of grass to walk dogs.

That will change this summer with the planned opening of the Boulder Pines Family Apartments, orchestrated by Nevada HAND (Housing and Neighborhood Development) at 4375 Boulder Highway.

In addition to affordable living, the complex will feature an innovative campus environment that includes a number of Southern Nevada nonprofit groups collaborating to provide a range of family and community services. That includes an onsite Boys & Girls Club for child residents that will welcome others from surrounding areas.

“There are so many children who live in that area, and there are no parks to hang out or play at,” said Chris Giunchigliani, county commissioner of District E.

Giunchigliani was an integral part of developing the project and initiated the plan to build the Boys & Girls Club next to the apartments.

“There will be basketball courts and many other amenities to give the kids something to participate in,” Giunchigliani said. “There’s a huge need in that whole corridor because there are so many schools.”

The complex will be right behind Mater Academy, a K-8 Title I Charter School, and there are six elementary schools within 2 miles of it.

Mater Academy’s campus has basketball and volleyball courts, as well as an expansive grass field for soccer, flag football and other sports.

“Access can go both ways, with students at the school using the amenities at Nevada HAND, and after-school club programs using the school,” Giunchigliani said.

The complex also will have a partnership with Lutheran Social Services, and negotiations are underway to secure other partners to enhance the value and opportunities to residents and others in the neighborhood.

“There will be many groups sharing one roof,” said Armena Mnatsakanyan, executive director of Lutheran Social Services, “so we can all share expenses and help the community as much as possible.”

Partner charities will provide services for Boulder Pines residents ranging from help with employment and birth certificate/identification needs to free food and mental health services. And they won’t spend a dime for rent or construction of the complex. The project is being funded with money from the Community Development Block Grant. “It was a win-win in the long run for the taxpayers, because it takes no money out of their pocket,” Giunchigliani said. “It’s all grants.”

The grants are competitive, but Nevada HAND is one of the most experienced and self-sustained nonprofit developers of affordable housing. Founded in 1993, it operates 28 residential communities in the valley.

“I’m excited to add the Boulder Pines Family Apartments to our portfolio of affordable living in our community. It will be the only project of its kind in Nevada, featuring on-site service partnerships to meet the holistic needs of residents and the surrounding community,” said Mike Mullin, Nevada HAND’s founder and president.

Applications for Boulder Pines will be accepted mid-year, and the complex is expected to be occupied by late this year or early 2018.

“With the help of great community partners, we provide opportunities for Nevada HAND residents to improve their overall quality of life,” Mullin said.

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