All posts by Andrea Davis

Want to support HAND? Stay home on Nov. 9

You are cordially invited to Stay Home for HAND on Nov. 9.

This annual “event” is the Noblesville-based housing and neighborhood development organization’s signature fundraiser — and the only one of its kind in central Indiana.

Rather than asking supporters to dress up for a black-tie affair in a rented reception hall, HAND is inviting its supporters to stay home on the evening of Nov. 9, enjoying the kind of comfort that we work to provide our less-fortunate neighbors.

We’ll check in throughout the evening on social media to see what everyone’s doing, and registered guests will have access to an online silent auction that includes must-have items like tickets to see Hamilton in Indianapolis, a weekend getaway to Red River Gorge, Ky., and tickets (plus parking passes) for the Pacers and Colts. And new items are arriving daily.

Already have plans? That’s OK — just stay home on a different night. This time of year, the downtime is well worth the price of a ticket ($75 per household or $150 per VIP household).


Proceeds will support HAND’s housing-development, home-repair and community-building programs.

Woda Cooper opens historic school for sneak peek

Many thanks to developer Woda Cooper Cos. for opening up its future Blackhawk Commons development in Sheridan for tours on Aug. 16.

Elected officials, HAND supporters and Sheridan residents were thrilled to get a behind-the-scenes look as the former Adams Township School is transformed into affordable apartments.

HAND was a consultant on the project, helping Woda Cooper secure the necessary approvals and facilitating a $300,000 contribution from Hamilton County that will allow the historic gym to be preserved as community meeting space.

When it opens late this year, Blackhawk Commons will rent 32 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments to low-income residents.

Check out some photos from the event:

Tour groups got a look at the work in progress.

Tour groups got a look at the work in progress.

The old gym is being preserved.

The historic gym is being preserved as community space.

Woda Cooper's Nick Surak shares plans for Blackhawk Commons.

Woda Cooper’s Nick Surak shares plans for Blackhawk Commons.

Crews have discovered plenty of pieces of the past.

Crews have discovered plenty of pieces of the past.

Apartments are being built where classrooms and offices once stood.

Apartments are being built where classrooms and offices once stood.

Support HAND’s #housing4all fundraising campaign

Fundraising envelopes

HAND Inc. launched its first #housing4all fundraising campaign on Aug. 16 at a hard-hat tour of the future Blackhawk Commons affordable apartment community in Sheridan.

Proceeds from the online fundraiser, which runs through Nov. 15, will support HAND’s existing affordable housing programs and program development.

To participate, donors visit a website where they can choose to give $1 to $150. So far, most contributors have chosen a number that is meaningful to them—and many have shared the reason for the gift.

Aili McGill gave $13For example, HAND board member Ali McGill gave $13 because “I have been a homeowner in Noblesville for 13 years. I was very lucky to find a home that I could afford, and mine required a ton of sweat-equity,” she wrote. “I think it’s vital that our communities make an effort to provide safe, healthy, affordable housing for everyone, and that’s why I’m supporting this cause.”

If every number between 1 and 150 is chosen—and the corresponding donation made—HAND will receive about $10,000 to support ongoing operations.

Established as a nonprofit in 2003, HAND owns eight affordable rental communities that lease nearly 140 units in Hamilton and Boone counties.

Check out the #housing4all fundraising page now.

We appreciate your support!



HAND awarded $2M in funding for senior housing in Tipton

Preliminary Tipton site plan

Noblesville-based HAND Inc. plans to invest $2.1 million to build a nine-unit rental property in Tipton for low-income seniors.

The nonprofit housing and neighborhood development organization will receive $2 million from the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority’s Home Investment Partnerships (HOME) and Development Fund programs; it also will utilize a bank loan.

HAND’s Tipton development is planned for about an acre of vacant land on Southwood Drive, just east of Tipton High School. The property is in an existing residential neighborhood where construction stalled. Residents of the area asked HAND to consider building there to address the need for more affordable senior housing in the Tipton County seat.

“Across rural parts of Indiana, there is a shortage of safe, decent and affordable housing,” said Indiana Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch, who serves as IHCDA’s board chair. “This funding will not only support the creation of affordable units, but [it also will] leverage additional investment into Tipton County.”

Tipton Mayor Don Havens credited synergies promoted by Tipton Care Coalition for this investment. “Over the past few years, this local coalition led by Dr. JoAnn Burke and Bill Gossard … has prioritized affordable senior housing for Tipton,” Havens said. As a result, Indianapolis-based TWG also is developing a $7 million, 49-unit senior apartment building there. “$9 million total investment is phenomenal for a community the size of Tipton.”

The Southwood Villas development will be HAND’s first in Tipton County. The 16-year-old organization already owns eight rental communities in Hamilton and Boone counties—in Carmel, Cicero, Noblesville, Sheridan and Lebanon—leasing almost 140 affordable apartments to low-income residents.

 “HAND is excited to become part of the Tipton community,” said Executive Director Jennifer Miller. “We look forward to working with our new neighbors.”

Plans call for constructing three single-story buildings, each with three 2-bedroom, 1-bathroom rental units. Residents must be at least 62 years old and earn no more than 60 percent of area median income. Rents will be based on income and family size.

The development will address key housing issues and goals cited in Tipton’s 2012 Comprehensive Plan by providing safe and suitable housing opportunities for the growing senior population. The rental housing options will help with alleviating concerns about housing accessibility, property maintenance and affordability that older adults often experience.

Founded in 2003 as Hamilton County Area Neighborhood Development Inc., HAND has invested more than $21 million in suburban housing.

HAND wins LOVE Thy Neighborhood Award

HAND Inc. was honored at LISC Indianapolis’ third-annual LOVE Thy Neighborhood Awards on April 18, winning the Vitality award for its Home Place Gardens development in Carmel.

The LOVE Awards recognize community game changers in the Indianapolis region—“the people and places that have made outstanding progress in developing their neighborhoods as desirable places to live, work, learn, play and stay.”

A field of 60 nominees was narrowed to three finalists in each of four 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

Other finalists in the Vitality category were Shelton Heights Neighborhood Park in Indianapolis and the Hearts & Hands of Indiana home-rehab program.

Indy Urban Acres won the Livability award, the Build Fund won the Opportunity award, and Starfish Initiative won the Education award. Each winner received $2,500, a trophy, and a professionally produced video that premiered at the awards ceremony.

Those attending the awards gala at the Indiana War Memorial selected the winner of a People’s Choice award after watching the videos. Brookside Community Play, a finalist in the Education category, took home that $5,000 prize.

HAND’s Home Place Gardens development, 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 community includes eight one- and two-bedroom duplex apartments for low-income seniors ages 55 and older and two three-bedroom detached homes for families who have survived violence and are referred by Prevail Inc. Those two rental houses are the only of their kind in Hamilton County, which does not have an emergency shelter.

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.