New housing, wellness center opened by NAC

Recently, the Native American Connections (NAC) opened their Cedar Crossing apartment complex. The apartments are co-located next to the Patina Wellness Center, which offers substance abuse treatment, specialized services for pregnant women, and other services.

The NAC took what was a deteriorated medical complex and used the facility to build both housing and a new wellness center that brings NAC’s existing treatment programs to one location. Native American Connections remains committed to developing quality affordable housing using transit oriented design and sustainable building practices. Cedar Crossing is a smoke-free, LEED Platinum community offering 74 apartments with studio, one, two and three bedroom layouts. Amenities include a fitness room, dog run and community room and covered patio with an indoor/outdoor fireplace.

Many of the residents at Cedar Crossing were previously homeless, or at risk of becoming homeless. Many of those people were suffering from some form of substance abuse or mental health issue, of which 50% were Native American. The wellness center combines evidence-based practices with Native American healing and ceremonies.

During development, graduate-level architecture students from Arizona State University were brought in to work with NAC and local architects. Together, they created a space that blends Native American traditions and customs with a practice energy-efficient design.

Located near the Encanto Light Rail Station in Central Phoenix, the area offers opportunities for the residents of Cedar Crossing. NAC knew its close proximity to light-rail and downtown amenities made it ideal for housing. In addition to being close to jobs and transit, the residence is near private schooling that offers scholarships. Residents also have access to financial literacy, job development, food, and children’s programs.

Cedar Crossing was financed largely with low-income housing tax credit equity from National Equity Fund, an affiliate organization of Local Initiatives Support Corp. (LISC).

Joe Keeper, director of real estate development at NAC, stated, “What’s most important is providing a safe, secure place for families to live, and then we wrap them with services.”