Carrfour Supportive Housing

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Carrfour Supportive Housing (Carrfour)
TypeSupportive Housing Organization
  • Miami, Florida
    United States
Area served
South Florida

Carrfour Supportive Housing is a nonprofit organization established in 1993 by the Homeless Committee of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce. It develops, operates and manages affordable and supportive housing communities for low-income individuals and families in Miami-Dade County, Florida. Carrfour communities combine affordable housing with comprehensive, on-site supportive services. Carrfour is Florida's largest not-for-profit supportive housing provider, housing more than 10,000 formerly homeless men, women and children in 20 communities throughout Miami-Dade County, assembling over $300 million of financing, tax credits and subsidies, and developing more than 1,700 affordable housing units since its founding.[1][2]


In the early 1990s, as the homeless population of Miami-Dade county grew to more than 8,000 people,[3] the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce formed a Homeless Committee to find a permanent solution to homelessness. These efforts led the Chamber to establish Carrfour Supportive Housing as a nonprofit entity "whose mission was to provide both permanent housing and supportive services to help the formerly homeless successfully reintegrate into society by helping them achieve their full potential."[1]

National recognition[edit]

In February 2009, TIME Magazine featured Carrfour in a national science story:[4] The following year, in April 2010, former President Bill Clinton hosted a Clinton Global Initiative day of service at Verde Gardens, which includes a 22-acre organic farm. The community was built on the site of the former Homestead Airforce Base.[5]

A September 2012 national wire story featured the Carrfour community as a new model for tackling homelessness.[6]

Also in September 2012, The Huffington Post featured Verde Gardens in a story that highlighted Miami-Dade County's success reducing homelessness by well over 50%.[7]

In May 2013, Carrfour's Verde Gardens community won the National Development Council's 2013 Academy Award for Housing Development.[8]

Carrfour CEO Stephanie Berman-Eisenberg, right, welcomes HUD Secretary Ben Carson, left, to Miami supportive housing community.

Shortly after his confirmation as the 17th United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Dr. Ben Carson visited Carrfour's Villa Aurora community in Miami, seeking to better understand the role federal funding played in providing subsidized housing for very low-income families.[9][10][11][12]

Carrfour Supportive Housing impacted reducing homelessness.[13][14][15]

Subprime mortgage crisis[edit]

When the subprime mortgage crisis hit, Carrfour, like other developers dependent on tax credits to finance construction, faced some of the most difficult challenges in its history

Doug Mayer, VP for housing development at the nonprofit Carrfour Supportive Housing, said its Dr. Barbara Carey-Shuler Manor rental project was delayed by a year because it could not secure the low income tax credits that it had qualified for. This form of financing comes from profitable companies – usually financial firms – that give cash to affordable housing projects in exchange for writing off taxes. The low-income tax credit market evaporated when the financial crisis hit last fall. "Hundreds of projects across the country stalled because they couldn't find a market for the tax credits," Mayer said.[16]

Ribbon cutting for new Miami affordable housing community. Carrfour President/CEO Stephanie Berman-Eisenberg, second from right, with Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado, second from left, and Miami-Dade County County Commissioner Audrey Edmonson, center.

Funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 enabled Carrfour to successfully navigate the financial crisis and experience the most rapid growth in the organization's history.

The city of Miami has partnered with local nonprofits to renovate 26, one-bedroom apartments in Overtown. The project will be funded with $2.5 million in federal neighborhood stabilization dollars ... The nonprofit consortium includes the Neighborhood Housing Services of South Florida, Carrfour Supportive Housing, the Little Haiti Housing Association, Opa Locka Community Development Corp., and the Urban League of Greater Miami.[17]

John Laswick, NSP Team Leader for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, speaks at grand opening of Carrfour's Harvard House in North Miami Beach, Florida. The Harvard House community was redeveloped using NSP stimulus monies provided to a consortium of local nonprofit agencies.

As demand for affordable housing and construction jobs rises, Carrfour Supportive Housing is putting federal stimulus dollars to work by purchasing a distressed apartment complex in North Miami Beach with plans to renovate and deliver 56 low-cost units in 2012 ... All told, Miami-based Carrfour was granted $17 million of the $89 million that has been directed to Miami-Dade County through the NSP2 program.[18]

Southern Miami-Dade County will feature a new apartment complex by Carrfour Supportive Housing in December. The company will open a mid-rise, six-story, 80-apartment building at the corner of Southwest 260th St. and South Dixie Highway in Naranja. The apartment, called Casa Matias, will provide housing for homeless families and low-income families.[19]

A distressed 1950s multifamily building is getting demolished so the site on which it sits can serve as an affordable housing complex. The $20 million development of Hampton Village Apartments will offer four-stories of multifamily housing units and services to help people better their lives. HUD's NSP2 initiative, part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, has granted nearly $2 billion to states, local governments, nonprofits and public and or private nonprofit entities on a competitive basis, with the purpose of rehabilitating distressed properties. Carrfour Supportive Housing was part of a consortium of Miami-Dade County development firms that were granted $89 million in funding through the program.[20]

Operation Sacred Trust[edit]

Formerly homeless Vietnam veteran with truck where he lived for 18 months.

In 2011, Carrfour launched Operation Sacred Trust to specifically help prevent and end homelessness for Veteran families in South Florida.[21]

If Gwendolyn Cutler-Isom had to describe her one-bedroom apartment in one word it would be GREAT. "I love everything about this place!" she said. Since April, the 54-year old Army veteran has been living in the recently-opened Barbara Carey-Shuler Manor in Liberty City.[22]

Glenn Merryman, 58, had been homeless for nearly a year-and-a-half before moving into his apartment at the Manor in February. "I felt like I was the lowest person in the world when I was homeless," he recalled. "But here they care about you and even check on you every few weeks just to make sure that you're alright."[22]

As part of an innovative effort to tackle Miami's problem with homelessness, Xavier Wright has traded the streets of downtown for a live-in community farm project in south Florida that grows produce for an upscale restaurant. Wright, 25, said it's his first steady job in two years ... Wright, who previously served in the U.S. Marine Corps in Iraq, had resided in a homeless shelter with his 6-year-old autistic son before moving to Verde Gardens.[6]

Stephanie Berman-Eisenberg, Carrfour Supportive Housing, President/CEO, Miami, Florida

A November 11, 2012 Huffington Post article featured Operation Sacred Trust as a new model for ending homelessness for America's veterans.[23] The same day, Carrfour President/CEO Stephanie Berman-Eisenberg published an Op-Ed on the Miami Herald Editorial Page highlighting the program's impact on area veterans.[24]

Coalition Lift[edit]

In June 2016, Carrfour launched Coalition Lift, a $6.5 million Miami-Dade County, Florida project to "house 34 chronically homeless men and women, while also conducting research to prove that doing so is far less expensive than leaving them on the streets." The initiative includes collaboration with the University of South Florida researchers to compare the cost of providing publicly funded housing and supportive services versus the overall taxpayer cost of services for a "control group with similar demographic characteristics who choose not to be housed."[25]

Carrfour's CEO estimated "it costs about $6,000 a year to house someone in a supportive facility" versus $30,000-$50,000 annually for emergency services to meet the needs of a chronically homeless person without housing.[25]

The Residences at Equality Park[edit]

In August 2016, Carrfour secured financing to develop, build and operate South Florida's first supportive housing community that will significantly serve gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender seniors.[26] The "Residences at Equality Park" is Carrfour's first development outside of Miami-Dade County.[27] Carrfour's competitive application for tax credits won funding from Florida Housing Finance Corporation for "housing credit and gap financing for affordable housing developments for persons with a disabling condition," providing the financing needed to begin construction of The Residences at Equality Park as an initial 48-unit apartment complex at North Dixie Highway and Northeast 20th Drive in Wilton Manors, Florida.[28][29][30]

The effort to create affordable, supportive housing in Wilton Manors began in 2012 when City Commissioner Tom Green proposed development of affordable housing for the community's primarily LGBT seniors. Three years later, the proposal won unanimous support from the City Commission to create "12,346 square feet of retail space and 130 affordable housing units" within The Pride Center at Equality Park's five-acre campus.[31][32] Pride Center Florida formally partnered with Carrfour to pursue funding, develop and operate the housing complex.[33]

Carrfour communities[edit]

  • Amistad
  • Bonita Cove
  • Casa Matias
  • Del Prado Gardens
  • Dr. Barbara Carey-Shuler Manor
  • Hampton Village
  • Harding Village
  • Harvard House
  • Karis Village
  • Liberty Village
  • Little Haiti Gateway
  • Little River Bend
  • Parkview Gardens
  • Rivermont House
  • Tequesta Knoll
  • The Royalton
  • Verde Gardens
  • Villa Aurora

Communities in Progress[edit]

  • The Residences at Equality Park
  • Dr. Alice Moore Apartments


  1. ^ a b [1] - Carrfour Official Website.
  2. ^ "Meet the new members of our CEO Roundtable". Miami Herald. Miami. November 20, 2017.
  3. ^ [2][permanent dead link] - Miami-Dade County Homeless Census
  4. ^ Walsh, Bryan (17 February 2009). "Building Green Houses for the Poor". TIME Magazine.
  5. ^ Abrir, Carson (19 April 2010). "Former President Clinton urges renewed efforts to erradicate [sic] homelessness". Fatherhood Channel.
  6. ^ a b Fagenson, Zachary (10 September 2012). "Homeless in Miami find new outlet, feeding the well heeled". Reuters.
  7. ^ Lilly, Christiana (5 September 2012). "Verde Gardens Farm Program Gives New Life, Work To Miami-Dade Homeless Families". The Huffington Post.
  8. ^ "Carrfour Takes Top National Development Council Award for Housing". National Development Council. May 2013.
  9. ^ "Carrfour hosts HUD Secretary Ben Carson for listening tour stop". Fatherhood Channel. 17 April 2017.
  10. ^ Hanks, Douglas (13 April 2017). "Ben Carson tours Miami housing complex built with grant Trump wants eliminated". Miami Herald. Archived from the original on 2017-04-17. Retrieved 2017-04-18.
  11. ^ Sayre, Wilson (13 April 2017). "HUD Secretary Ben Carson: Public-Private Partnerships Are 'The Answer' To Affordable Housing". WLRN Radio.
  12. ^ Hohmann, James (14 April 2017). "The Daily 202: Trump doesn't know much about history. It's making his on-the-job training harder". The Washington Postl.
  13. ^ Anderson, Bendix (February 2007). "Carrfour Beats Rising Costs, NIMBY". Affordable Housing Finance. Miami Beach.
  14. ^ Henthorn, Robert (19 April 2010). "Former President Clinton Visits future Carrfour Site to Urge Renewed Efforts to End Homelessness". Fatherhood Channel.
  15. ^ Serlin, Christine (April 2018). "Miami Project for Low-Income and Formerly Homeless Families Opens". Affordable Housing Finance. Miami.
  16. ^ Bandell, Brian (21 December 2009). "Miami-Dade housing projects hit". South Florida Business Journal.
  17. ^ Pedro Musibay, Oscar (27 October 2010). "St. John Village to get $2.5M makeover". South Florida Business Journal.
  18. ^ Pedro Musibay, Oscar (26 August 2011). "Carrfour Supportive Housing to renovate apartment complex". South Florida Business Journal.
  19. ^ Pedro Musibay, Oscar (19 January 2011). "Apartment Complex to Come Up in Southern Miami-Dade County".
  20. ^ LeClaire, Jennifer (21 October 2012). "$20M Affordable Housing Project Gets Underway in Miami".
  21. ^ Henthorn, Robert (4 August 2011). "Initiative Aims to End Homelessness for Veterans". Fatherhood Channel.
  22. ^ a b Heard, Kaila (18 June 2012). "New Apartments Help Vets Get Back on Their Feet". The Miami Times.
  23. ^ Lilly, Christiana (11 November 2012). "Operation Sacred Trust Combats Veteran Homelessness In South Florida With $1 Million Grant". Huffington Post.
  24. ^ Berman-Eisenberg, Stephanie (11 November 2012). "A step forward for homeless vets". Miami Herald.
  25. ^ a b Kinney, Jen (9 June 2016). "Miami Housing Project Looks to Put a Price on Chronic Homelessness". Next City.
  26. ^ "Carrfour plans affordable housing at Pride Center in Wilton Manors". South Florida Business & Wealth. 28 August 2016.
  27. ^ Goldberg, Samantha (26 August 2016). "First Affordable LGBT Senior Housing to Rise in South Florida". Multi Housing News.
  28. ^ Owers, Paul (23 August 2016). "Affordable housing project in Wilton Manors will cater to LGBT seniors". South Florida Sun Sentinel.
  29. ^ Kallergis, Katherine (23 August 2016). "Carrfour, the Pride Center team up for LGBT senior housing in Broward". South Florida Real Estate News.
  30. ^ Bandell, Brian (23 August 2016). "Developer reveals plans for LGBT-focused senior housing community". South Florida Business Journal.
  31. ^ [3] - Pride Center Official Website.
  32. ^ d'Oliveira, Michael (5 November 2015). "Senior Residences Planned for Equality Park". South Florida Gay News.
  33. ^ Croce, Brian (26 August 2016). "Senior LGBT Development on Tap for South Florida - Carrfour Supportive Housing has been selected to build 48 affordable apartments on The Pride Center's campus". Multi Family Executive.

External links[edit]