Category Archives: Current News

HAND’s Home Place Gardens vying for LISC vitality award

Karen and Dick Wenzel

Keep your fingers crossed for HAND’s Home Place Gardens development, one of three finalists in the Vitality category at the 3rd Annual Love Thy Neighborhood Awards hosted by LISC Indianapolis.

The awards recognize “the people and places that have made outstanding progress in developing their neighborhoods as desirable places to live, work, learn, play, and stay.”

Finalists are vying for awards in the following categories:

  • Livability: Creating healthy, active, and beautiful places
  • Opportunity: Fostering entrepreneurship and employment
  • Vitality: Reviving a growing and diverse population
  • Education: Offering excellent lifelong learning opportunities

Home Place Gardens, which opened last year in a newly annexed area of Carmel, is located on 2.4 acres south of 106th Street between College Avenue and the Monon Greenway.

The inter-generational development includes eight one- and two-bedroom duplex apartments for low-income seniors ages 55 and older and two three-bedroom detached homes for families that have survived violence. Those two rental houses are the only of their kind in Hamilton County, which does not have an emergency shelter.

Winners will be announced at a ceremony April 18. All finalists in the four categories also will be eligible to win the People’s Choice Love Award, chosen by those attending the event.

All finalists receive a professionally produced video highlighting their accomplishments. HAND’s video, featuring an interview with Home Place Gardens residents Dick and Karen Wenzel (see photo, top) will be available online after the event.

Trivia Night draws crowd

More than 130 people turned out Feb. 22 for the second annual HAND Trivia Night. Held at the Embassy Suites in Noblesville, the event raised more than $9,000 to support HAND’s programs.

Many thanks to event sponsors Peterson Architecture and Hamilton County Tourism, as well as dessert sponsors Nothing Bundt Cake and Boden’s Bakery, for helping to make the event a success!

PLAN AHEAD: Our next Trivia Night is scheduled for Feb. 28, 2020, at the Embassy Suites.

Raffle winners:


Community Foundation of Boone County supports HAND expansion

Noblesville-based HAND Inc. has been awarded a $5,000 grant to support expansion of the nonprofit’s affordable housing services into neighboring Boone County.

This grant was made possible by the Community Foundation of Boone County’s Community Impact Fund. Among other things, it will help pay to equip a community room at HAND’s Hickory Commons development, giving low-income residents access to on-site services such as financial literacy and nutrition education classes.

HAND already is investing more than $2 million to acquire and renovate the 17 duplexes that comprise Hickory Commons, which will provide 28 affordable apartments for residents earning no more than 60 percent of area median income; 5 units will have market-rate rents.

Hickory Commons is HAND’s first affordable rental community outside of Hamilton County. Founded in 2003 as Hamilton County Area Neighborhood Development Inc., HAND has seven properties with a total of 106 units in its home county.

According to American Community Survey 5-year estimates, about 20 percent of Boone County homeowners and 44 percent of renters are considered cost burdened, spending more than 30 percent of their household income on housing.

HAND’s mission is to be a leader in promoting prosperity and diversity in its communities by providing quality housing opportunities for low- and moderate income individuals and families.

HAND Trivia Night fundraiser set for Feb. 22

Trivia Night

Registration is open for HAND’s second-annual Trivia Night fundraiser, scheduled for 7-10 p.m. Friday, Feb. 22, at the Embassy Suites Conference Center in Noblesville.


Liven up an otherwise boring winter night by putting on your thinking cap for five rounds of general trivia questions. We’ll provide a pasta buffet and non-alcoholic beverages, and you can belly up to a cash bar for something stronger.

Where: Embassy Suites Noblesville, 13700 Conference Center Drive South

When: 7-10 p.m. Feb. 22 (doors open at 6:30)

How much: $200 for a team of eight, $100 for a team of four, or $30 for an individual in search of a team

The top-scoring contestants will win a prize, of course, but everyone has a chance to bid on silent auction items and score a fabulous raffle prize! (Indiana Gaming License #148524) Please note: raffle tickets can only be purchased with cash, checks or debit cards, so come prepared.

All proceeds benefit HAND.




HAND enters new year building on 2018 successes

Home Place Gardens ribbon cutting

Anticipation is building along with HAND’s momentum as we work to continue growing the organization’s impact in 2019. Here are just some of the highlights from last year, which wouldn’t be possible without our many supporters:

— HAND extended its reach outside of Hamilton County, purchasing 17 duplexes in nearby Boone County. Now called Hickory Commons, the rental community includes 33 leasable units on two cul-de-sacs just north of downtown Lebanon. HAND is investing more than $2 million to acquire and renovate the apartments, which were build in the 1950s.

— HAND opened Home Place Gardens, its first 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. About 100 people attended a June ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house. (See photo, above.)

— Ohio-based developer Woda Cooper Companies Inc. purchased the former Adams Elementary School in Sheridan, which it will transform into 32 affordable 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom apartments. The historic gym also will be preserved, becoming community recreation space. HAND is a consultant on the project.

— HAND helped to establish the Hamilton County Home Repair Partnership, a collaboration that includes Habitat for Humanity of Hamilton County, Shepherd’s Center of Hamilton County, SERVE Noblesville and Christmas in Action. In its first year, about 50 low- and moderate-income homeowners—many of them seniors—received critical repairs or modifications that improve their home’s accessibility, efficiency and affordability.

— HAND engaged a consultant and solicited public feedback to complete a comprehensive housing needs assessment for Hamilton County. Conducted every five years, the data-based analysis is used to determine local housing needs and to identify a strategy for meeting them. While final report is still being fine-tuned, preliminary results released at HAND’s September housing conference found that Hamilton County has a significantly larger percentage of cost-burdened households than the Indianapolis metropolitan area as a whole.

— HAND also received several significant grants throughout the year, including $10,000 from the Rotary Club of Carmel for the playground at Home Place Gardens and $7,500 from Duke Energy Foundation for the Housing Needs Assessment.

(See our full list of 2018 sponsors and supporters here, and contact Andrea Davis if you’d like to join the list for 2019.)