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6 North Apartments

6 North Apartments is one of the nation's first examples of a multifamily residential building featuring 100 percent universal design (UD). All 80 of the project's one- and two-bedroom apartments—as well as its common spaces, coffeehouse, and live/work units—are fully usable by both disabled and nondisabled persons. UD features incorporated at 6 North include stepless entries, open floor plans, adjustable countertops and shelves, and high-contrast color and surface texture schemes. The three-story project contains 56 percent market-rate and 44 percent affordable units. As of 2006 it was fully leased, with eight apartments occupied by households that include at least one disabled member.

The project was partially financed with funds from the St. Louis Affordable Housing Trust Fund, which is the only housing trust fund in the country that requires all of the projects it funds to incorporate UD. In addition, the Missouri Housing Development Commission -- the state's housing finance agency -- awarded developer McCormack Baron Salazar $693,000 in tax credits through the Affordable Housing Assistance Program (an incentive program that encourages Missouri business and individuals to participate in the production of affordable homes) and a $540,000 HOME loan.

Image and case study courtesy of Urban Land Institute Development Case Studies.