(Plain Press, August 2016) On June 28th, the Ohio Development Services Agency awarded $249,999 in Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credits toward preservation and rehabilitation of the Sanford House, at 2843 Franklin Boulevard. Sanford House is an 1862 brick house which was originally a private residence. It later served as a part of a juvenile detention home, a nursing home and a school for children with disabilities. The building was most recently used as part of the Cuyahoga County Archives. Plans call for a $1,481,674 rehabilitation of the building to house small business office space and four market rate apartments.
Welcome House, a social service agency that works with developmentally disabled youths, owns the property. In 2014, Welcome House purchased the County Archives property from Cuyahoga County. Their goal was to rehabilitate the Rhodes House, just west of the Sanford House, to serve as permanent supportive housing for twenty-four developmentally disabled youth aging out of foster care. However, Cuyahoga County insisted on selling the whole Cuyahoga County Archives Property to one buyer, so Welcome House ended up owning the Sanford House as well.
Welcome House Executive Director Tony Thomas says Welcome House has not yet received funding to rehabilitate the Rhodes House. He hopes to re-apply for funding for permanent supportive housing funding through the Ohio Housing Finance Agency in the next round of proposals due in February of 2017. Thomas said he had hoped to have the project underway by now, but must wait for approval of funding from a competitive pool of funds the state has set aside for permanent supportive housing for the homeless.
In the meantime, Welcome House will be working with White House Construction, a Bedford based company, to rehabilitate the Sanford House. A successful market rate development on that site should bring some additional revenue to Welcome House, said Thomas.