All posts by Nate Lichti

HAND Poised to have Change in Leadership

March 28, 2016

HAND announced they will be searching for a new Executive Director to replace Nate Lichti, its director since 2012. Lichti announced he would be going to work for a regional nonprofit organization.

HAND works throughout Hamilton County to raise awareness of affordable housing needs, and to provide solutions when possible. Since 2012, these efforts expanded considerably.

During Lichti’s tenure, HAND conducted a strategic plan and built relationships in all eight cities and towns. HAND’s Housing Needs Assessment has been a resource for local nonprofits and communities since it was completed in 2013. It contained community specific data and strategies generated through the public process.  Support for HAND increased from less than 10 regular donors to over 130.

The new Director will have an opportunity to build on a platform HAND intentionally developed as part of its multi-year strategy adopted in 2013. This includes community building efforts coordinated through the Neighborhoods NOW program and Helping HAND.

Housing continues to be a primary focus for HAND. After completing 14 apartments last year, HAND now owns 94 units in Sheridan, Cicero and Noblesville.  Two innovative projects came close to receiving funds in 2015, and may be competitive in 2016 if community partners elect to move them forward.

Interested individuals should submit a resume and cover letter to The position description and more information about HAND is available on its website: Questions can be directed to Sara Hill, Vice President and chair of the Selection Committee:

HAND invests in neighborhoods, provides housing solutions, and builds partnerships to improve the lives and build community in Hamilton County. Individuals interested in learning more can visit or call 317-674-8108 for more information.

Executive Director Search

Job Ad Announcement:  Executive Director

Hamilton County Area Neighborhood Development (HAND), Inc. is a small nonprofit established in 2003 with a charter to promote and develop affordable housing. HAND has built a reputation as a resource on issues relating to affordable housing, housing growth, seniors and sustainability. HAND partners with over thirty entities through its three primary lines of business: Helping HAND (Home repair), Neighborhoods NOW (Community building and advocacy), and Housing Development.

HAND is seeking an Executive Director to provide leadership to a dynamic nonprofit community development corporation serving the fastest growing county in the state. Based in Noblesville, HAND is a leading advocate for affordable housing and is looking for an experienced, passionate leader who will advance strategies to build community across the county.

For more information click here

Complete Job Description

Interested individuals should email a resume and cover letter to

Click here to apply through the Charitable Advisors web-site.




March 28, 2016


I am back with my last employee profile blog. 0115161249_HDR-2Our last, but certainly not least, employee is Executive Director Nate Lichti. His favorite color is orange and he has a three year old dog. Lichti likes to ride bikes and spend time with his 13 year old daughter. At HAND, Lichti has played a crucial role from day one. He has been coordinating, organizing, keeping people informed, and making sure that HAND’s work is always for the mission of the company since the very beginning. Unfortunately, Lichti will be leaving our organization shortly, but I don’t want you to miss the opportunity to meet a great, passionate man.


Lichti started his occupation with a master’s in nonprofit management where he grew his passion for helping his community. He loves doing work that is meaningful to him and makes an impact on the ones around him. When I asked why his job was important to him he explained, “It’s a part of my identity. It also fits the community’s needs. It’s very strategic in the way that HAND can improve the community, and build relationships.”

Lichti loves to form personal relationships with the people HAND serves. He also says that, “A lot of people think I encounter a lot of resistance everywhere I go, but we have so many backers and supporters. So, I love to see people surprise me or those around them. Sometimes people start in a confrontational place, but inevitably there’s kindness and generosity and a spirit of caring that comes out. That’s usually the best and most fulfilling part of my job.”

Neighbors who are able to support HAND and see the benefits of helping their community play a huge role in expanding and assisting the organization in its goals. When people are capable of seeing new perspectives and show an interest in caring for their neighbors, it becomes a lot easier to improve the quality of life for everyone. I also asked Lichti why HAND should matter to all types of people in Hamilton County and he clarified, “HAND is about building community, which in our society we grapple with. We’re very self-motivated or family motivated. But I think that in community development there’s a greater opportunity for that community fabric to be rewoven and strengthened. So for people looking to build and strengthen their community, I think HAND is uniquely positioned to do that.”

The interview progressed to Lichti’s reflection on his work at HAND. He has put a lot of time, effort, and passion into his years spent working to grow affordable housing in Hamilton County, and I was curious as to what he thought of it all. I started by asking him what he considered his greatest achievement and he replied, “I’m most proud of the work we’ve done to broaden the base of support, to generate support beyond the board directors. We hadn’t been relevant to many communities that really needed us but didn’t know it. Now we have been able to form many more partnerships and establish many more relationships with all of the communities. I’m grateful for where we’ve gotten.” Gaining support has been a key factor to the success of HAND, and with Lichti’s help and guidance, HAND has been able to grow immensely.

I also asked him what his hopes were for the future of HAND after he leaves. Lichti explained, “I hope HAND can continue to develop. I hope that the communities continue to support HAND. HAND needs some ongoing support to maintain a capacity to provide these services in communities. So I think pledges will help HAND get the resources and support it needs to keep going.”

Lastly, I asked Lichti how he felt about his overall experience working with HAND and the communities of Hamilton County. Lichti responded, saying, “I have been very grateful for the opportunity. It’s been tremendously fulfilling and satisfying. The encouragement I’ve received during our campaigns when there was a lot of controversy—the core support that we’ve had is critical.” Even when faced with challenges, Lichti enjoyed the hard work it took to help his neighbors of Hamilton County. He went on to say, “I’ve learned so much from local leaders, from people on the street. I’ve gotten a whole other sense of the interrelationship between suburban communities and the state as a whole. I feel like I’ve learned so much and I appreciate everyone for teaching me.”

Lichti is very sad to leave HAND, because of the great experiences, challenges, opportunities, and achievements he was met with. He has worked hard to build HAND into an organization that is able to help people of all different backgrounds and build up a community that everyone in Hamilton County can be proud of. Lichti explains, “HAND is really important for the future of Hamilton County. I really want people to recognize it and to be on the lookout for a campaign this summer that will be raising awareness for HAND and the affordable housing needs of Hamilton County. I hope people will be ready to rally behind and help distribute and raise support for HAND for this upcoming campaign.” Lichti hopes that HAND will thrive and continue to do what is was made to do: help its fellow neighbors and neighborhoods. We are sad to see such an inspiring leader, worker, neighbor, and friend go, but we wish him the best of luck in all his future endeavors.

Inaugural Student Design Challenge

Hamilton County Area Neighborhood Development announces

Inaugural Student Design Challenge

‘Student Design Challenge’ is a design contest open to students currently enrolled at a high school in Hamilton County

 NOBLESVILLE, Ind., (March 1, 2016) – Support the movement to increase awareness and develop affordable housing in Hamilton County by entering the inaugural “Student Design Challenge”.  The design challenge is presented by the Hamilton County Area Neighborhood Development (HAND), in conjunction with a team of individuals participating in the Hamilton County Leadership Academy Class of 2016.

The HAND “Student Design Challenge” is a design competition to create content that will help to raise awareness about the lack of affordable housing in Hamilton County and generate support for HAND.  Submissions for the “Student Design Challenge” open today. Entries are open to students, at least 13 years old, and currently enrolled as a high school student in Hamilton County (grades 9-12).   Submission are due no later than 11:59 PM on April 15, 2016.

The top three designers will win a cash prize ranging from $500 to $100.  The winners will be recognized at HAND’s Annual Meeting on May 11th at the Delaware Township Community Center.

How to Participate

Designs can be submitted via email to along with the participant’s name, grade, high school, and phone number.  Both the information sheet and design briefs with entry requirements and instructions are available below:

Design Challenge Handout

What is HAND?

For information contact Nate Lichti, Executive Director, 317-674-8108 or

Like HAND on FACEBOOK and follow them on Twitter @nate_hand_inc #HANDDesignChallenge

IBJ Covers Affordable Housing Issues in Hamilton County

December 21, 2015 – The IBJ recently provided valuable coverage to the issue of affordable housing in Hamilton County.   The original article laid out the reasons “Hamilton County officials (are) leery of new homes with lower price”.  Of course, this is a frequent topic of concern for HAND, and it was a popular workshop at the Neighborhoods NOW Conference last month.

The IBJ Editorial the following week provided a perspective that this “Residential litmus test impedes diversity”, and HAND provided a response which was published this week

Follow the links above to read the full coverage, and see HAND’s response below.

RE:  “A New Test for Housing Projects,” November 30, 2015

Letter to the Editor:

I appreciate Lindsey Erdody’s attention to the housing issues addressed in her article, “A New Test for Housing Projects,” November 30, 2015.  The article highlights the perception that it is impossible to produce housing for people of modest incomes in Hamilton County.  My organization, Hamilton County Area Neighborhood Development (HAND), Inc., actively pursues this goal, and we don’t go it alone.  In reality, many local stakeholders also believe it should become a priority to build this type of housing.

Last month, HAND hosted the first Neighborhoods NOW Conference in Fishers, which attracted over 100 leaders, developers and residents to explore solutions to prevalent issues:  General Affordability, Growth and Jobs, Aging Population and Sustainability.

We discussed how a shortage of workers leaves service jobs unfilled and stymies local business growth.  In looking to the future, nearly 60% of the jobs in the County’s target growth industries (inc. Life Sciences, IT, Innovative Manufacturing, Business and Financial Services and Amateur Sports) earn less than $18/hour (the wage necessary to afford the median rent in the area).

Growth and prosperity in Hamilton County relies on the connectivity of housing and jobs.  Transit helps, but housing linked to jobs can address this more quickly, efficiently and sustainably.  Millennials and seniors alike desire urban, walkable neighborhoods with close proximity to jobs and services, so let’s find ways to provide diverse housing stock to accommodate the demand.

In 2016, HAND invites local officials to develop a Housing Advisory group to carry forward the strategies recommended at our Conference.  This group will prioritize strategies, research barriers, promote best practices and pursue avenues to build local capacity.  HAND will work with existing partners and recruit new representatives from across the County to get this started.  Eventually, these policies may serve as a model for other metropolitan communities.

One thing I know about Hamilton County is that when it sets its mind to something, it happens.  I’m inviting leaders to accept the challenge and determine how to can build diverse, sustainable communities in spite of property tax caps – a condition which handicaps the entire state.


Nate Lichti

Executive Director

HAND invests in neighborhoods, provides housing solutions, and builds partnerships to improve the lives and build community in Hamilton County. Individuals interested in learning more can visit or call 317-674-8108 for more information.