All posts by Andrea Davis

Registration opens for second-annual Stay Home for HAND fundraiser

HAND Inc.’s unusual fundraiser is back for a second year, offering supporters the chance to stay home to support HAND’s central Indiana housing programs. The inaugural Stay Home for HAND non-event raised more than $10,000 in 2016.

Instead of asking donors to attend an upscale event in a rented venue, HAND invites the community to stay home on the evening of Nov. 10—enjoying the kind of warmth and comfort that the organization provides our low- and moderate-income neighbors.

This year’s fundraiser is scheduled for 7-10 p.m. Nov. 10, but participants can stay home whenever it fits their schedule. Tickets cost $75 for a household, $150 for a VIP household, or $450 for a block party.

Register now

Ticket holders will have exclusive access to an online silent auction, which closes at 9 p.m. on Nov. 10.

Participants who share photos and videos of their home-based activities on Facebook that evening also will have a chance to win prizes.

“It’s a different kind of ‘event,’ but people seemed to really embrace the idea that they could stay home,” said HAND Executive Director Jennifer Miller. “And we couldn’t ask for a better tie-in with our mission.”

Proceeds from Stay Home for HAND support the organization’s housing-development, home-repair and community-building programs. HAND works to ensure that the suburbs remain livable, with homes that are affordable for all residents.

Since 2003, HAND has invested nearly $20 million in Hamilton County housing, developing seven affordable apartment communities. This year, HAND acquired Hickory Commons, its first development in neighboring Boone County.

Carmel Rotary volunteers to prep Home Place Gardens playground

More than a dozen volunteers from the Carmel Rotary Club are expected to spend their Saturday morning finishing up playground installation at HAND’s new Home Place Gardens affordable rental community in Carmel.

Volunteers will begin spreading playground mulch on the site at 9 a.m. Oct. 20. A crew from Recreation Unlimited in Noblesville began assembling commercial-grade play equipment there this week.

Once the necessary safety surfacing is in place, the playground will open for Home Place Gardens residents and their guests to enjoy. The play project was funded with grants from Carmel Rotary, 100+ Women Who Care of Hamilton County and Meyer Najem Construction.

Home Place Gardens is HAND’s seventh affordable rental community in Hamilton County and the first to include housing for families with children. Constructed on 2.4 acres south of 106th Street between College Avenue and the Monon Greenway, Home Place Gardens has a total of 10 rental units for seniors and families.

The $2.6 million project was funded with loans and grants from the Indiana Housing & Community Development Authority, Federal Home Loan Bank of Indianapolis, Hamilton County, Prevail Inc., Crosser Family Foundation and Woodforest National Bank.

About HAND: Founded as Hamilton County Area Neighborhood Development in 2003, HAND owns seven affordable rental communities throughout Hamilton County, leasing a total of 106 units to low-income individuals and families. This year, it acquired 17 duplexes in Lebanon, extending its reach to nearby Boone County. Its mission is to be a leader in promoting prosperity and diversity in its communities by providing quality housing opportunities.

Hamilton County’s Section 8 wait list to open for first time since ’14

The Noblesville Housing Authority will be accepting pre-applications online for its Housing Choice Voucher Waiting List from 9 a.m. Oct. 2 through 4 p.m. Oct. 9.

Pre-applications must be submitted online at www.waitlistcheck.com/IN2939. There is no fee to apply.

Applicants will be able to submit the required information from any computer, tablet, or smart phone with online access. Status information regarding placement on the list will be available online within 10 calendar days after the closing date. Instructions regarding obtaining status information are provided during the online application process.

No paper applications will be accepted. Applicants must apply during the period the list is open for applications.

Reasonable Accommodation: It is the policy of the Noblesville Housing Authority to provide reasonable accommodations to those persons with disabilities so they can participate equally in its housing programs. To request a reasonable accommodation, please contact the Housing Authority at (317) 773-5110 ext. 101 no later than 4 p.m. Sept. 26. Persons with Limited English Proficiency will be offered competent interpretation services free of charge upon request.

“We are excited to be opening our waiting list so that we can provide housing assistance to more families and the elderly who are in need,” said NHA Executive Director Aimee Jacobsen. “Our new process for accepting pre-applications online will allow the greatest possible access to apply and help our agency efficiently meet the high demand for applications we anticipate. We have developed an application process that affords every interested applicant the opportunity to apply.”

Due to limited funding availability, not all applicants will be placed on the waiting list. Pre-applications will be selected and ordered using a random lottery system, keeping the process equitable and fair.

The time and date the application is submitted online has no bearing on whether it will be selected for the waiting list. There is no  advantage to applying immediately after the list opens. Applicants can apply online using a computer, tablet or smart phone with internet access anytime during the time the wait list is open.

Online applications will automatically be sorted by Noblesville Housing Authority preferences. Applicants who live or work in Hamilton County, are elderly or disabled, are veterans, or who live or work in Indiana will receive a preference on the list and are therefore encouraged to apply. After the pre-applications are sorted by preference, the online system will randomly select 200 of the pre-applications using a lottery system.

Applicants may verify if they were selected by logging in with their unique code online at www.housinglistcheck.com/IN2939 within 10 calendar days after the closing date.

The Housing Choice Voucher program is the federal government’s primary program that allows very low-income families to choose and lease or purchase safe, decent, and affordable privately-owned rental housing.

The Housing Choice Voucher program covers the rent portion that exceeds approximately 30 percent of an eligible family’s monthly income. Any and all income-eligible families may submit a pre-application.

Acceptance and/or assistance are based on income verification, eligibility requirements, preference factors, and a lottery selection process. Maximum income levels, based on family size are as follows:

Family Size / Income Limit

  1. $27,050
  2. $30,900
  3. $34,750
  4. $38,600
  5. $41,700
  6. $44,800
  7. $47,900
  8. $51,000

Pre-applications will be removed from the wait list if any of the following are determined after the initial interview:

  • Drug or violent criminal activity within the last five years. If any drug activity, you may remain on the list if you have completed or are in a drug rehabilitation program at the time of the initial interview.
  • Life-time registered sex offender
  • Persons convicted of manufacturing or producing methamphetamine
  • If any family member has been evicted/terminated from a federally-assisted housing program in the past five years.
  • Criminal background checks and screening for previous tenant history in assisted housing is conducted at the time of the eligibility interview for all adult household members.

Questions? Please contact the Noblesville Housing Authority directly at (317) 773-5110.

Can I Be Your Neighbor? HAND conference examines suburban housing choices

Housing Conference logo

Registration is open for HAND Inc.’s fourth-annual fall housing conference, scheduled for 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Sept. 21 at the Cambria Hotel Westfield. Titled “Can I Be Your Neighbor? Straight Talk about our Housing Choices,” the event will include a keynote session unveiling results of the 2018 Hamilton County Housing Needs Assessment.

Tickets are $65 per person and include a continental breakfast and lunch. Register here.

The keynote speaker is Rachel Denton, a partner in consultant Novogradac & Co.’s Kansas City office. HAND hired Novogradac to update the countywide housing analysis. The report is expected to explore the potential impact of our housing choices on local economic growth.

“It is becoming increasingly evident that a lack of affordable housing and the absence of public transit is leading to a workforce shortage in our county,” said HAND Executive Director Jennifer Miller. “We look forward to seeing the results of the Housing Needs Assessment and understanding more about how housing impacts the economic health of our community.”

Mark Fisher, chief policy officer for the Indy Chamber, will give a presentation on inclusive regional growth, and Samantha Spergel, director of real estate production for the Indiana Housing & Community Development Authority, will share the latest on state and national housing policies.

Other speakers include Carmel Realtor Shell Barger, Fishers developer Corby Thompson, Builders Association CEO Steve Lains, Whitestown Town Manager Dax Norton, and Fishers Mayor Scott Fadness.

Attendees also will participate in the United Way of Central Indiana’s “In One Moment” poverty simulation exercise.

Conference sponsors include United Fidelity Bank, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Planning Organization, Legacy Fund, Nelson & Frankenberger LLC, Boomerang Development, and HWC Engineering.

Founded as Hamilton County Area Neighborhood Development in 2003, HAND has developed seven affordable rental communities with a total of 106 units in Hamilton County. This year, it acquired 17 duplexes in Lebanon, extending its reach to nearby Boone County. Its mission is to be a leader in promoting prosperity and diversity in its communities by providing quality housing opportunities.