All posts by Andrea Davis

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.

HAND hosts team trivia competition, raffle Jan. 26

Trivia Night

Registration is open for HAND Inc.’s first Trivia Night fundraiser, scheduled for 7-10 p.m. Jan. 26 at the Noblesville Event Center, 2350 Conner St. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Teams of four or eight are invited to compete in five rounds of general-knowledge trivia hosted by Indy’s Live Trivia. Individuals who want to play will be placed on a team. The top-scoring team will win a prize.

Tickets are $200 for a team of eight, $100 for a team of four, or $30 for an individual. Registration includes appetizers, water and soda, and participants will be able to buy tickets for beer and wine.

HAND also will be conducting a raffle at the event (Indiana Gaming License #146069). Raffle prizes include an Indianapolis Colts autographed football, a swag bag from the Indiana Pacers and a Kitchen-Aid stand mixer. Raffle tickets can only be purchased with cash, checks or debit cards, so be sure to plan ahead!

Trivia Night is a fundraiser for HAND, a Noblesville-based nonprofit that works to address the housing needs of low- and moderate-income individuals and families. HAND has invested more than $17 million in Hamilton County housing since 2003.

HAND owns six apartment communities that offer a total of 96 affordable units, and 10 additional units under construction in Home Place are expected to be available this year.

Research suggests Hamilton County needs almost 11,000 more affordable housing units to meet existing needs.

Fishers residents: Need a ramp?

Home ramp

If you or a loved one has a mobility impairment, you understand the value of having ramp access to your home. Ramps can increase safety and reduce the risk of falling, and they can help older adults continue to age-in-place at home.

But with the average cost of installation exceeding $1,000, ramps are a luxury for many homeowners. That’s why HAND is partnering with the Fishers Advisory Committee on Disability, Habitat for Humanity of Hamilton County and Shepherd’s Center of Hamilton County to meet the need through the state’s Ramp Up Indiana grant program.

Administered by the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority, Ramp Up Indiana provides funding to build ramps throughout the state. In order to apply for the grant, we must gather information about the need in Fishers.

Eligible homeowners are those who earn no more than 80 percent of Hamilton County’s area median income, or $55,900 for a family of four.

If you or someone you know needs a ramp, please email Program Manager Rebekah Wood and provide the following information:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Household size
  • Annual household income

In addition to ramps, Ramp Up Indiana funding also can be used to the widen exterior door served by the ramp, to install a rubber or aluminum threshold ramp, and to install a levered door handle.

HAND and its partners provide home repairs—including door widening and ramp construction—for low-income homeowners throughout Hamilton County in order to preserve existing affordable housing.

HAND, partners win $25,000 grant to assist seniors

Hamilton County Area Neighborhood Development Inc. (HAND) has been awarded a $25,000 grant from the Central Indiana Senior Charles N. Smith Trust Fund, a CICF Fund, to support a new Home Repair & Mobility Assistance program for low- to moderate-income seniors.

The program is a collaboration among three organizations: HAND, Habitat for Humanity of Hamilton County, and Shepherd’s Center of Hamilton County. The bulk of the funding will be used for home repairs or modifications that will allow seniors to continue aging in place. The remainder will pay for a regularly scheduled “shopper shuttle” for seniors who need help getting to the store.

HAND is the program administrator, processing home-repair applications and tracking results. Habitat’s experienced volunteers will handle construction. And Shepherd’s Center is coordinating the shopper shuttle along with providing referrals for both services.

Organizers hope to complete 15 home-repair projects and provide shuttle access to as many as 40 seniors a month by November 2018.

The three organizations also are working with the City of Fishers on a separate initiative to build ramps for homeowners with accessibility issues, and they are seeking additional funding for repairs to homes not owned by seniors.

Founded in 2003, HAND invests in neighborhoods, provides housing solutions and develops partnership to improve lives and build community. The organization owns six apartment communities that offer a total of 96 affordable units; 10 additional units are under construction near Carmel.

Habitat for Humanity of Hamilton County builds strength, stability and self-reliance through shelter. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage.

The Shepherd’s Center of Hamilton County provides programs to promote and support independent lifestyles for seniors. Its vision is to be known throughout Hamilton County as a trusted resource for connecting seniors with volunteer programs and support their independence.

Stay Home for HAND raises over $10K for housing programs

Hamilton County Area Neighborhood Development Inc.’s inaugural Stay Home for HAND fundraiser has generated more than $10,000 in donations to support the Noblesville-based nonprofit’s work.

HAND took an unusual approach to the traditional charity fundraiser: Instead of asking donors to attend an upscale event in a rented venue, the organization invited the community to stay home on the evening of Nov. 11—enjoying the kind of warmth and comfort that HAND provides.

More than 50 households bought tax-deductible tickets to Stay Home for HAND, and several shared photos and videos of their activities that evening. Ticketholders also had access to an online silent auction that closed during the “event.”

Discounted tickets are still available for households that weren’t able to stay home on Nov. 11 but still want to participate.

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

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

Since 2003, HAND has invested nearly $17 million in Hamilton County housing, developing six affordable apartment communities. Construction is underway on a seventh, Home Place Gardens, which is expected to open in 2018.