Lydia House receives new name, $300,000

Lydia House, a planned long-term supportive housing program in Stevens Square, has a new working title: Lydia Apartments, according to Linda Satorius, executive director of the Plymouth Church Neighborhood Foundation.

"The use of the word ‘house,’ for a lot of people in the community, communicated more of a group home, halfway-house or treatment facility. That is not what we’re about at all," she said.

The project also received a $300,000 grant from the federal Home Loan Bank in Des Moines.

Lydia House already had a $400,000 capital commitment from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development said Satorius. The foundation’s own fundraising recently netted $100,000 — half of its $200,000 goal from private sources.

The foundation is still a long ways from the $5.4 million to cover the acquisition and rehabilitation costs for Lydia House, but "we are another step closer," Satorius said of the Home Loan Bank grant.

"We expect to get the remainder of the funding this fall," she said.

The foundation will go out for bids in July, "so we can hit the ground running in November or December," she said.

The project will renovate the former LaSalle Convalescent Center, 1920 La Salle Ave., into apartments for people who are recently homeless.

Some neighbors, calling themselves Citizens for a Balanced Community, have filed suit in federal district court to try to stop the project, arguing the city should have enforced an ordinance against overconcentrating supportive housing in one area.

The next hearing is tentatively set for Tuesday July 2.