Missouri State Treasurer Clint Zweifel today joined local officials and advocates to break ground on a new housing development which will serve the needs of domestic violence and human trafficking survivors. The Talia Apartments, which will contain nearly fifty living units, was approved for Low Income Housing Tax Credits last October by the Missouri Housing Development Commission (MHDC), of which Treasurer Zweifel is a board member. The approval comes after survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking were added to the Commission’s definition of special needs in 2015, at the Treasurer’s urging.

“Today represents the first step on a long road of recovery for many families and individuals in this region looking to reclaim their lives and set out on a new path for themselves,” Treasurer Zweifel said. “This development will be able to serve people in their most vulnerable moments, and the services provided by the Talia Apartments will strengthen families and this community over the long term.”

Treasurer Zweifel was joined by representatives of Harmony House, currently the only shelter for survivors of domestic violence in the Springfield area, and the Vecino Group, which is responsible for the development. Springfield Mayor Bob Stephens was also present to celebrate the groundbreaking.

“We are so grateful to Treasurer Zweifel for his leadership in ensuring that domestic violence survivors will have improved access to affordable, permanent housing in Missouri,” said Lisa Farmer, Executive Director of Harmony House. “Both Treasurer Zweifel and the Missouri Housing Development Commission are to be commended for taking this important step. Harmony House is grateful that Springfield area domestic violence survivors will be the first in the state to benefit from their action.”

Treasurer Zweifel has supported special needs housing throughout his time on the Commission. In 2010, he championed a policy to allocate approximately one third of all state housing tax credits for developments that serve those with special needs, including individuals who are homeless, mentally ill, or have a physical or developmental disability. The Commission added survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking to the definition of special needs in June 2015. Construction on the Talia Apartments is expected to be complete in the summer of 2017. This will bring the total number of special needs housing units to nearly 1,200 either built or currently in construction since this effort was approved by MHDC in 2011.