Birch Tree Apartments and wrap-around services

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Southern New Hampshire University
The Birch Tree Affordable Housing Project is located in the rural Southeast Missouri community of Farmington. The Project involves the complete rehabilitation of a 56-unit apartment complex and a set of complementary wraparound services. The wrap-around services include a Head Start Center located within the complex itself, a community garden, Financial and Job Search Life Skills programs, Assets for Independence and Family Self-Sufficiency programs, a Summer Food feeding site, and a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program. Given current community dynamics, housing affordability is a difficult matter for many Farmington residents. Specifically, approximately 37% of the households in Farmington spend 58% of their income on housing and are unable to pay for food, utilities, clothing, or save for an emergency. Should this persist unabated, Farmington risks increased poverty, possible home loss, and increased social and economic burden to the community. The Birch Tree Affordable Housing Project will allow families to increase their budgeting skills to plan for the financial resources that are available. It will also increase affordable and quality child care; increase the amount of safe, sanitary, decent, and affordable housing; increase the number of economically disadvantaged people getting education and training required for better paying jobs; and increase the income for economically disadvantaged families. (Author Abstract)