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MY SISTER'S KEEPER

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In response to the need for affordable housing for women infected with HIV and/or AIDS and their families, the Harambee CDC has proposed the new construction of the My Sister’s Keeper Apartments, a 24-unit affordable, rental housing community that will target HIV/AIDS infected, mothers and their families. The proposed My Sister’s Keeper House will introduce a never-before seen housing design and programs that will allow these deserving families to respond to both their short- and long-term needs while empowering themselves to transition into more permanent housing conditions.

As proposed, the My Sister’s Keeper Apartments will have the following features:

A quality constructed, 3-story facility featuring 24 rental apartment units with a varied unit-mix including (6) studio units, (12) one-bedroom units, (4) two-bedroom units and (2) three-bedroom units.
Main level devoted to common-space amenities including entertainment room, children’s play & learning lab and a prayer/mediation room.
Main level resident services space for private, resident medical screenings, group meeting hall and individual counseling rooms.
Access to a wider array of on-site medical services designed to promote healthy living environments and mitigate potential health risks.
Programming partnerships with third-party service providers including (but not be limited to: the Prince George’s County Health Dept; Maryland Dept. of Housing and Community Development, the Older Women Embracing Life, Inc. (a non-profit organization providing services for older women with HIV/AIDS), and various regional housing referral agencies to help place and support housing candidates.
A ground-breaking healthy housing design focus that will allow the apartment building to meet the US Green Building Council’s (USGBC) new Well Building Standard which seeks to maximize resident health through proper circadian lighting systems, color and indoor air quality while also reducing stress levels and potential health hazards such as slip-and-fall hazards and indoor environmental pollutants.
Green architectural and mechanical features that will allow the building to meet the USGBC’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating standard (Silver Level minimum) by promoting energy efficiency and reducing long-term building operating cost along with the new USGBC Well Building Standard that became active in 2015. that will allow the building’s design
On-site renewable energy system design focus that will allow the building to utilize renewable energy systems that can generate 50% or more of its own energy using solar PV and solar hot water systems that will reduce utility expenses by 35% or more.

Projected Project Cost will be $4.7 million with more than ½ of the funds coming from public sources and private foundations.

50% of units will carry Section 8 or County-based rental voucher assistance for low-income families having incomes at or below 50% AMI.

To date Harambee Community Development Corporation has begun to work with an architect and engineers to develop this project. We have also hosted focus groups with women who are living with HIV/AIDS to solicit their input regarding the design and components of the facility. We have met with Prince George’s County and State elected officials to garner their support for the project.

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