Groundbreaking held for new affordable housing complex in central Fresno

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A groundbreaking was held Wednesday in Central Fresno along Blackstone Avenue.

Construction started on what used to house AJ's Tuxedo shop and Arthur's Toy Store -- building now what's soon to be The Arthur at Blackstone.

The development will create 41 units of affordable housing targeting low-income families.

Twenty of the apartments will be reserved for young people facing homelessness or those transitioning out of institutions.

"This is providing a real ladder of opportunity because we know so many of our citizens and residents in the foster care system are really challenged about making that transition and housing in the foundation," says Fresno Housing CEO Tyrone Williams.

Thanks to the Fresno County Department of Behavioral Health, the residents will benefit from dedicated onsite supportive services.

The agency will provide resources like case management services, therapy, peer support services and more.

"The persons that we're supporting in housing are amongst the most vulnerable and they have multiple social determinants of health that haven't been in their favor historically," says Director of Behavioral Health Susan Holt.

Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer explains how he is working on addressing the affordable housing crisis.

He says he's pushing hard for inclusionary zoning so more developments can have an affordable model for housing throughout the entire city.

It's an issue Fresno City Council President Nelson Esparza says he is also tackling.

Esparza says there's a lot of activity along Blackstone because that's one of his top priorities in his District 7.

"Blackstone Avenue is the spine of our city," he said. "We have to take care of it, we have to invest in it. It's changed over the years and now, we are trying to transform it in a positive way and improve it."
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