Ground was broken Monday and construction begun on Prior Crossing, a new project to create 44 units of affordable housing for young people who previously have been homeless.

The project was made possible by a $500,000 contribution from House of Hope Presbyterian Church in St. Paul, more than $1 million from the City of St. Paul, nearly $1 million from the Metropolitan Council and $5 million from Minnesota Housiing.

The project is not a homeless shelter and it is not intended to be transitional housing. Instead, it will provide studio apartments for young people ages 18-21 (with some younger residents allowed if they are independent or have permission from parents and guardians). Rents will be subsidized.

Prior Crossing is on University Avenue, just east of Prior Avenue in the city's Midway area.

The project seeks to provide stability in people's lives, officials said. On-site services for residents will be provided by the Wilder Foundation.