All posts by Andrea Davis

Volunteers to help with landscaping June 1-2

HAND is enlisting the help of more than 50 volunteers to help install foundation plantings at its new Home Place Gardens development in Carmel on June 1 and June 2.

Volunteers will work from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., planting greenery around the four duplexes and two single-family homes now under construction.

Everyone who assists also will be invited to the Home Place Gardens ribbon cutting and open house on June 14.

UPDATE: Registration closed on May 29.

We appreciate your help!

HAND acquires rental community in Boone County

Noblesville-based HAND Inc. is investing more than $2 million to acquire and renovate 17 duplexes in Lebanon, Indiana, which it will maintain as affordable apartments for low-income residents.

Now called Hickory Commons, the rental community includes a total of 33 leasable units on two cul-de-sacs: Lafayette Court and Cedars Court. Property manager Mark III will have an office in the remaining unit, which also will include a community room open to all residents.

The acquisition is 15-year-old HAND’s first project outside of Hamilton County.

“Our mission is to provide housing and neighborhood development, and we don’t want to limit ourselves to one geographic area,” said HAND Executive Director Jennifer Miller. “Every community needs housing options, and we are well-positioned to help.”

Funders for the Lebanon project include the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority, which provided $1 million from the federal HOME program and $500,000 from the state Community Development Block Grant program. The balance came from Lake City Bank as a private loan.

The Hickory Commons duplexes were built in the 1950s and require renovations and updating. Renovations are expected to take about a year, but current residents will not be displaced. HAND has contracted with 7-3 Development Corp. to handle the work.

HAND is committed to keeping rents at 28 of the 33 units below the limits set annually by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Five apartments will have market-rate rents.

Founded in 2003 as Hamilton County Area Neighborhood Development Inc., HAND has invested more than $19 million in housing. It has built four apartment communities with a total of 82 units for seniors in Noblesville, Cicero and Sheridan, and renovated three historic buildings in downtown Noblesville to create 14 one-bedroom apartments that are not age restricted.

On June 14, HAND will host a ribbon cutting at Home Place Gardens, its new rental community in Carmel. That development includes eight 1- and 2-bedroom apartments for seniors and two 3-bedroom single-family homes for survivors of violence. (Click here to sign up for a June 1 volunteer day on the property.)

Researchers have found that demand for affordable housing in Hamilton County exceeds supply by more than 10,000 units—a gap that will take more than 100 years to fill at the current pace of construction, assuming the need doesn’t increase as the county’s population grows.

Hamilton and Boone counties are two of the fastest-growing areas in the state. But housing costs have increased along with their populations, leaving behind many seniors, early-career professionals and service workers. HAND’s mission is to be a leader in promoting prosperity and diversity in our communities by providing quality housing opportunities.

HAND seeking consultant for 2018 housing study update

clip art of generic report

Hamilton County Area Neighborhood Development Inc. (HAND) is in the process of selecting a candidate to provide professional services to update the 2013 Hamilton County Housing Needs Assessment.

This study will serve as the continuation of an effort to revitalize, redevelop, and generally define the housing needs of Hamilton County, Indiana. The proposed project will provide Hamilton County with an updated housing plan, which will serve as an action plan for the county’s Community Development Block Grant Program and inform HAND’s ongoing strategic planning.

HAND will convene a group of representatives from various communities to review proposals, and expects to have a firm selected prior to April 27, 2018. The anticipated time frame for this project is outlined in the Request for Proposals, with the final product to be presented to HAND within five months of contract.

In order to be considered, the proposal must be received no later than 4 p.m. Friday, April 20, 2018, at HAND’s office, 347 South 8th St., Suite A, Noblesville, IN 46060, or by email at

Click here to view/download the Request for Proposals

Click here to view/download HAND’s responses to questions about the RFP

HAND wins grant to update Hamilton County Housing Needs Assessment

HAND Inc. has been awarded a $7,500 grant from the Duke Energy Foundation to update the Hamilton County Housing Needs Assessment, a data-driven analysis of the state of housing in the fast-growing county north of Indianapolis.

Last completed in 2013, the report is required of communities that receive federal Community Development Block Grant funding in order to determine local needs. The Legacy Fund and Noblesville Housing Authority also are financially supporting the twice-a-decade update.

This spring, HAND will solicit proposals from consultants interested in completing the comprehensive report, which will evaluate broad indicators of community well-being in addition to quantifying housing demand, supply and affordability.

“Adequate and affordable housing is so important to maintaining and improving the quality of life for any community,” said Mark LaBarr, Duke Energy community relations manager for Hamilton County. “We’re pleased to support this updated housing assessment that will help make Hamilton County an even more welcoming community for current and new residents.”

Results of the 2018 assessment are expected to be released at HAND’s annual housing conference, scheduled for Sept. 21. The findings will inform HAND’s community-development activities, and other local not-for-profits also use the data to ensure they are addressing community needs.

Founded in 2003, HAND addresses the housing needs of low- and moderate-income individuals, families and senior citizens in Indianapolis’ suburbs. Its mission is to be a leader in promoting prosperity and diversity by providing quality housing opportunities.

HAND owns six apartment communities that offer a total of 96 affordable units in Hamilton County; 10 additional units are under construction along 106th Street in Carmel.

Former Adams Township school in Sheridan to be redeveloped into apartments

The Woda Group, Inc. and Housing Services Alliance, Inc. (HSA) will redevelop the historic Adams Elementary School in Sheridan, transforming the vacant property into 32 affordable apartments and renovating its gym to become community recreation space. Construction of Blackhawk Commons could begin as soon as July 2018. 
Plans for the $7.2 million development had been on hold since February 2017, when the Indiana Housing & Community Development Authority (IHCDA)  placed Blackhawk Commons on a waiting list for federal Rental Housing Tax Credits. IHCDA awarded the sought-after tax credits to 16 projects at the time, holding back a portion of available credits due to uncertainty in the equity market. 
IHCDA later notified Woda Group and HSA that $610,000 in tax credits were available for the development. Although that was less than the $770,000 in credits originally requested, the development team was able to move forward. 
The one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments at Blackhawk Commons will be leased to residents earning 60 percent or less of the area median income, or $33,600 annually for a two-person household. 
Rental Housing Tax Credits are awarded to developers as a way to incentivize private investment in affordable housing. Investors buy the credits, generating revenue to fund projects while reducing their tax liability. Additional funding for Blackhawk Commons is coming from the IHCDA’s Development Fund, and Hamilton County government agreed to contribute $300,000 toward the gym renovations. 
Hamilton County Area Neighborhood Development Inc. is consulting with Ohio-based Woda and Pennsylvania-based HSA on Blackhawk Commons. HAND’s proposed Noblesville Granary & Lofts development also was on the 2017 tax-credit waiting list, but the available credits were not sufficient to proceed with that 56-unit project. 
Founded in 2003, HAND’s mission is invest in neighborhoods, provide housing solutions and develop partnership to improve lives and build community. The not-for-profit organization owns six apartment communities that offer a total of 96 affordable units; 10 additional units are under construction near Carmel. 
The Woda Group, Inc., and its affiliates are experienced developers, general contractors, and property managers specializing in the design, construction, and management of affordable multi-family apartments, senior communities, and single-family homes.  Considered leading experts in the affordable housing industry, the Woda team is known for producing and maintaining high-quality affordable housing.  Affordable Housing Finance Magazine has ranked The Woda Group, Inc. 9th overall among Affordable Housing Developers and 22nd overall among Affordable Housing Owners in their April/May 2017 issue. The Woda Group, Inc. has developed and currently manages over 300 communities and over 12,000 units.  Headquartered in Westerville, OH, the firm has offices at six additional locations including Indianapolis.  For more information, visit 
Housing Services Alliance, Inc. is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the production of affordable housing. HSA has completed more than 80 affordable housing developments and frequently partners with Woda, most recently on a 38-unit senior development in Kendallville called Atz Place, which opened in the fall of 2017.