DAVENPORT, IOWA (July 11, 2023) Vera French Community Mental Health Center and Vera French Housing are proud to announce a funding award totaling more than $9.4 million to support the construction of “Carol’s Village Gardens”. The thirty-unit housing development will be built with 26 one-bedroom and four two-bedroom units. Located next to Vera French’s Carol Center at 808 N Harrison Street in Davenport, Carol’s Village Gardens will complement the current outreach programs at the Carol Center, answering people’s basic needs, assisting with workforce re-entry, and offering social engagement for those in recovery.

“Carol’s Village Gardens bridges the gap between unstable living situations and permanent supportive housing,” said Stacy Kiser, executive director of Vera French Housing. “A safe, decent place to live is vital to allowing people to focus on their mental and physical well-being. With this investment in our community by the Iowa Finance Authority, Vera French can continue our mission to help more people striving to recover from mental illness.”

No diagnosis is required for those interested in applying for a unit in Carol’s Village Gardens. Applicants will be considered based on income eligibility, with a small number of units set aside for people experiencing homelessness.

The new funding award includes Low Income Housing Tax Credits and HOME funds by the Iowa Finance Authority in its most recent annual allocation round. Each spring the Iowa Finance Authority (IFA) takes applications for the highly-competitive Low Income Housing Tax Credits. IFA selected Vera French’s project out of 24 other applications. As part of that process, IFA also designated Vera French Community Mental Health Center as a “Community Housing Development Organization” or CHDO, which allows Vera French to access additional funding for affordable housing development beyond Carol’s Village Gardens. Vera French would like to thank both the Regional Development Authority (RDA) and the Scott County Regional Authority (SCRA) for their early support of this project during their Fall 2021 grant rounds.

Since the early 1990s, Vera French has recognized the critical link between stable housing and mental-health recovery. Individuals living with the day-to-day realities of serious mental illness often experience loss of employment and income, eviction, and homelessness.

“The beauty of Vera French Housing is that we are a landlord plus,” said Richard K Whitaker Jr PhD, CEO of the Vera French Community Mental Health Center. “The ‘plus’ is the little added care and concern for our tenants and the connection to Vera French mental-health support.”

Additional investments in safe, decent affordable housing include the 2022 purchase of fourteen additional affordable housing units in Davenport. Those units were renovated and modernized with new flooring and appliances. With the new properties, Vera French Housing now oversees 142 housing units across 25 buildings in Davenport and Bettendorf.

More information about how to apply for housing or learn more about Carol’s Village Gardens and Vera French Housing, follow this link:


About Vera French

Vera French is a family of non-profit Iowa corporations encompassing the Vera French Community Mental Health Center (VF CMHC), Vera French Housing (Housing) and the Vera French Foundation (the Foundation).

About the Vera French Community Mental Health Center (VF CMHC)

Founded in 1949 as the Scott County Mental Health Center, our agency strives to be a center of excellence which collaborates with our community partners to advance mental health for all and deliver high-quality, accessible healthy living solutions. In 1982, the agency was renamed in honor of longtime director Dr Vera French MD. Vera French Community Mental Health Center serves as an independent provider of community-based mental-health services to all who need them. Vera French is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors, which oversees a team of over 230+ talented medical, clinical, and behavioral health-management professionals.

About The Vera French Foundation

In 1985, the Vera French Foundation was created as a subsidiary of the VF CMHC to help spread compassionate awareness of mental illness in our community and to inspire generous giving.

About Vera French Housing

The Vera French Housing Corporation was formed in October 1994 to assist individuals with persistent mental illness to obtain permanent, affordable housing linked to the Center’s support services and other resources within the community. Today, Vera French Housing proudly owns and operates 141 apartment rental units scattered throughout Davenport and Bettendorf, Iowa. Vera French Housing believes stable housing is vital to allowing individuals to focus on their mental and physical well-being.

For more information on Vera French, our agency’s 2022 Annual Report is attached and please visit our website — verafrenchmhc.org.

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