Full Circle Communities: Creating Affordable Housing and Enhancing Health
There is a dearth of affordable housing available in the United States. Measurements calculated by the National Low Income Housing Coalition find there exists a 7.4 million unit shortfall of affordable and available rental properties for Extremely Low Income households – this averages out to 35 available units for every 100 ELI renters. This shortfall is not relegated to any single region or geographical setting – Wyoming currently faces a deficit of 8,700 units, while California’s shortage is upwards of 1.1 million.
In light of these staggering shortfalls, NLIHC called for a significant increase in the investment and production of low income housing throughout the country. Full Circle Communities is proud to answer that call.
Full Circle Communities was formed in 1999, with a mission to expand access to quality affordable housing through preservation and development, thoughtful design, and the provision of supportive services targeted to the needs of their residents and surrounding communities. In 2002, Full Circle opened their first property, Goodlette Arms, in Naples, Florida – in 2018, they will offer twelve affordable communities in four states, serving such diverse populations as low-income families, seniors, veterans, and the disabled.
A core tenet of Full Circle’s philosophy is that housing is the foundation – of health, of financial security, of educational achievement, and of overall quality of life. This should not be taken as empty rhetoric. According to the Health Impact Project, access to affordable housing creates a number of positive benefits for both renters and the community at large, including improvements in mental health and financial security.
Nevertheless, Full Circle understands that affordable housing is but the first step in a greater journey towards self-actualization. To that end, they partner with nonprofit organizations and government agencies to provide supportive services for little to no cost to the residents. To give but one example: at Carol Stream, Illinois’ Villagebrook Apartments, school-aged children can participate in free tutoring, after-school programs, and college preparatory services. These programs help decrease anti-social activity, build community, and help students secure a promising future after graduation.
Building community is something that Full Circle strives to attain at every one of their properties. Many of the residents of Goodlette Arms, for instance, natively speak Spanish – to help break down potential language barriers, Full Circle offers language classes in both English and Spanish. This desire for community building is something that carries over to the residents themselves. At The Arbor at Lindale Trail, Full Circle’s senior living facility in Marion, Iowa, one resident prepares a monthly communal dinner for all who care to join.
With so many success stories, it’s no wonder why so many of Full Circle’s properties have waiting lists just to apply. When four new properties, including their first in Michigan, open later this year, that high demand will only continue to grow.