Category Archives: Current News

Playground project wins grant from Carmel Rotary, District 6560

HAND Inc. has been awarded a $10,000 grant from the Carmel Rotary Club and Rotary International District 6560 to help build a commercial-grade playground at HAND’s new Home Place Gardens development in Carmel. Rotary members also will help to install the playground.

Home Place Gardens is HAND’s seventh affordable rental community in Hamilton County and the first to include housing for families with children: Two of the 10 units at Home Place Gardens are reserved for families who have survived violence and are referred by Prevail Inc. The other eight units will be occupied by seniors age 55 and older.

Including a playground at Home Place Gardens is important because it gives resident families and their guests a recreational option close to home, HAND Executive Director Jennifer Miller said when accepting the grant at Carmel Rotary’s Aug. 3 lunch meeting.

“We hope the playground can help these children feel a little sense of normalcy in a very difficult situation,” said Carmel Rotary Club President Jon Walker.

Constructed on 2.4 acres south of 106th Street between College Avenue and the Monon Greenway, Home Place Gardens will welcome tenants beginning this month.

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.

The playground equipment was funded separately. In addition to the Rotary, contributors included 100+ Women of Hamilton County and Meyer Najem Construction. At least one volunteer work day will be scheduled for this fall to prepare the site for play.

Founded as Hamilton County Area Neighborhood Development in 2003, HAND has developed 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.

HAND hires consultant, schedules public meetings on housing needs

HAND Inc. has engaged Novogradac & Co. LLP, a national accounting and consulting firm, to complete the 2018 Hamilton County Housing Needs Assessment. This data-based analysis, which is conducted twice a decade, is used to determine local housing needs and to identify a strategy for meeting them.

In addition to collecting and evaluating demographic data at the county level, the consultant will solicit input from key stakeholders during a series of public open houses scheduled for the week of July 9. Representatives of local businesses, nonprofit agencies and government entities are invited to attend the meetings to share their thoughts on the state of housing in our community — and how it impacts their organizations.

The two-hour meetings will be held at the following times and locations:

  • 9-11 a.m. July 10, Grand Park Events Center, 19000 Grand Park Blvd., Westfield
  • 1-3 p.m. July 10, Sheridan Public Library, 103 W. First St., Sheridan
  • 2-4 p.m. July 11, Carmel City Hall, 1 Civic Square, Carmel
  • 1-3 p.m. July 12, Arcadia Town Hall, 208 W. Main St., Arcadia
  • 9-11 a.m. July 13, Fishers City Hall, 1 Municipal Drive, Fishers
  • 2-4 p.m. July 13, Noblesville City Hall, 16. S. 10th St., Noblesville

Participants can arrive anytime during the scheduled hours to provide feedback, and an online survey will be available through the end of July.

“The Housing Needs Assessment is a valuable tool, because it allows communities to get a clearer picture of the types and magnitude of their housing challenges and opportunities,” said Rachel Denton, a partner in Novogradac’s Kansas City, Mo., office. “This report will allow leaders and residents of Hamilton County to make better-informed decisions on how to best allocate their resources.”

Results from the study are expected to be unveiled at HAND’s annual sustainable housing conference on Sept. 21. Registration for that event is expected to open July 30.

“HAND has been working to provide quality housing options in Hamilton County for 15 years, and we know that the need is growing along with the population,” said Executive Director Jennifer M. Miller. “Now we will have current data to help us tell that story in an even more compelling way.”

The 2018 Housing Needs Assessment is funded by grants from The Legacy Fund, Duke Energy Foundation and the Noblesville Housing Authority. The report is required of communities that receive federal Community Development Block Grant funding in order to determine local needs.

Founded as Hamilton County Area Neighborhood Development in 2003, HAND has developed 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.

Novogradac is a national accounting and consulting firm with over 600 employees and partners in more than 25 offices. Specialty practice areas include tax, audit and consulting services for tax-credit-assisted affordable housing, community revitalization, rehabilitation of historic properties and renewable energy.

Home Place Gardens almost ready to welcome residents

Home Place Gardens ribbon cutting

About 100 people attended a June 14 ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house  at Home Place Gardens, HAND’s first affordable rental community in Carmel.

Located on 2.4 acres south of 106th Street between College Avenue and the Monon Greenway, the development includes eight one- and two-bedroom duplex apartments for seniors ages 55 and older and two three-bedroom detached homes for families who have survived violence. Residents are expected to begin moving in this summer.

The free event was sponsored by American Structurepoint and Peterson Architecture. Three of the 10 units were open for self-guided tours so members of the community could see the quality construction and interior finishes for themselves.

“All too often, when people hear ‘affordable housing,’ they conjure up visions of notorious public housing projects like Cabrini-Green in Chicago or Brewster-Douglass in Detroit. The reality is very different,” said HAND Executive Director Jennifer Miller. “We look forward to showing our neighbors how well affordable housing options can blend into our community.”

Work on Home Place Gardens began last fall, with general contractor Meyer Najem overseeing construction. The Architecture Studio provided design services, and American Structurepoint handled site engineering.

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.

Residents of Home Place Gardens must complete an income-verification process demonstrating they earn no more than 60 percent of area median income. HAND has a waiting list of more than 250 individuals interested in one of its 106 affordable rental units in Hamilton County.

Founded in 2003, HAND also has rental communities in Noblesville, Cicero and Sheridan, and it recently acquired 17 duplexes in Lebanon, Indiana. Its mission is to be a leader in promoting prosperity and diversity by providing quality housing opportunities.

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.