YWCA looking to rent out refurbished homes to low-income families

The units on Kensington Avenue are handicap accessible, preference will be given to low-income veterans

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Housing for all — that’s the goal of the YWCA of Youngstown’s latest housing project in the city.

The organization calls it the “Liberation Station.” The organization bought five units on Kensington Avenue and is looking for low to moderate income families, especially veterans, to move in.

“We just took this as an opportunity to expand our portfolio of affordable housing and we knew there was a need in the veteran community as well,” said YWCA Executive Director Leah Merritt.

They were able to pay for the project through grants.

A two-bedroom and four-bedroom unit will be ready by the end of the month. The four-bedroom unit is fully accessible.

“If we are going to focus on the veteran population who sometimes comes back with a disability or handicap from the service, then we want to make sure that’s accessible for them,” Merritt said.

It has a wheelchair-accessible kitchen and bathroom, wide doorways and halls, accessible kitchen counters and cabinetry, roll-in showers, easy-to-reach light switches, and no steps or barriers in entryways.

The two-story house has been gutted.

“It has all new heating, plumbing, electrical, drywall. It’ll have all new fixtures and energy-efficient appliances,” Merritt said.

The YWCA is looking for a family to move in, though there are some requirements. Potential tenants must be at or below 60 percent of area median income.

“That’s 60 percent of your immediate income for a family. So for a family of four, that’s about $30,000.”

They must also be at risk of homelessness, need handicap accessibility, and have an income. Preference will be given to veterans.

VASH Vouchers and Section 8 Tenant-Based Vouchers will be accepted.

Tenants will be responsible for utilities and rent will be based on their income.

Applications are still being accepted. The other three units should be ready by mid-April.

To apply, call the YWCA at 330-746-3661. Applications are also available at the YWCA at 25 W. Rayen Ave. in Youngstown.