Category Archives: Current News

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.

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.