GREATER CIRCLE LIVING OVERVIEW
Greater Circle Living (GCL) is a part of the larger Greater University Circle Initiative (GUCI) launched in 2005 by the Cleveland Foundation to increase the population and improve the economic opportunities for the people in Greater University Circle. This comprehensive community-building and development strategy is designed to stabilize neighborhoods by breaking down barriers between institutions and the community by focusing on four strategy areas: Institutional Partnership, Physical Development, Economic Inclusion, and Community Engagement.
Greater Circle Living is an innovative partnership that offers a mechanism for leveraging institutional and foundation funds to assist eligible employees with rental and purchase housing options, or repair of their owner-occupied homes in Greater University Circle neighborhoods. GCL was initially launched in 2008 as a $3.9 million joint Employer-Assisted Housing Program (EAHP). In 2012, the program re-launched with increased employee benefits of up to $30,000 in home purchase down payment assistance and more inclusive eligibility criteria to include new hires and part time employees with at least two years of service. Since the re-launch, the program has seen a 585% increase in usage as of September 30, 2019.
GCL offers up to $30,000 in down payment assistance, up to $8,000 in matching funds for exterior home repairs and up to $1,400 for one-time rental assistance. In December 2015, the geographic boundaries were expanded to include the St. Clair-Superior and Central Midtown neighborhoods, which opened the program up to more non-profit employees and expanded housing options. In 2020, the GCL target area boundaries will further expand to include the Central-Kinsman neighborhood.
In response to market and participant demand, in Fall 2018, a Rental Expansion pilot program was launched, allowing additional affordable rental options. Rental Expansion is now fully operational and provides eligible employees the opportunity to rent properties that range in size from 2 – 10 units.
The program is now offered in nine neighborhoods: Buckeye-Shaker, Central-Midtown, Fairfax, Glenville, Hough, Little Italy, St. Clair-Superior, University Circle and the Southwest quadrant of East Cleveland.
GCL is a partnership between Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, The Cleveland Foundation, Judson Retirement Community and area non-profits. The program is administered by Fairfax Renaissance Development Corporation and is marketed by University Circle Incorporated.
MISSION AND VISION
Mission Statement: To serve as a catalyst for the revitalization and stabilization of Greater University Circle and the surrounding neighborhoods by improving access to quality housing and building vibrant, inclusive communities.
Vision Statement: To be a national leader and driving force in providing positive economic growth, development, and community revitalization in Cleveland, Ohio’s Greater University Circle neighborhoods.
SUPPORT FOR GREATER CIRCLE LIVING COMES FROM
- Case Western Reserve University
- Cleveland Clinic
- The Cleveland Foundation
- Judson at University Circle
PROGRAM ADMINISTRATION AND DEVELOPMENT
Fairfax Renaissance Development Corp.
COMMUNITY RESOURCE PARTNERS
- Burten, Bell, Carr Development
- Cleveland Neighborhood Progress
- City of Cleveland
- Buckeye – Shaker Square Dev. Corp.
- City of East Cleveland
- Community Housing Solutions
- Famicos Foundation
- Little Italy Redevelopment Corp.
- Midtown Cleveland, Inc.
- Neighborhood Housing Services
- St. Clair – Superior Dev. Corp.
University Circle Inc.