Category Archives: Housing Conference

County housing study, strategies to be unveiled at HAND Housing Conference

Hamilton County housing is becoming less affordable to more people, and without some real changes, businesses here will find it increasingly difficult to find and keep employees. 

These findings and more from Greenstreet, Ltd., will be released at HAND’s 2022 Suburban Housing Conference on Wednesday, May 4, beginning at 8 a.m.  The daylong event, presented by the Hamilton County Community Foundation, will be held at the Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center in Noblesville. 

This year’s conference will unveil the results of a Hamilton County housing study commissioned by the Hamilton County Housing Collaborative (HCHC).  For example, the data shows that 18,735 low- and moderate-income households here are spending more than the recommended 30 percent of their income on housing, reducing funds available for other necessities. And rising housing costs also impact households earning more than the area median income. A family earning $97,920 annually, for example, can afford just 28 percent of new homes here and only 12 percent of current listings.

In addition to being the first to see study results, conference attendees will hear from local developers and urban planners about efforts to create a housing continuum in Hamilton County, and they’ll explore some specific strategies during interactive afternoon workshops.

“The Housing Collaborative believes that Hamilton County should have a full range of housing attainable for anyone who wants to call Hamilton County home—during every stage of their lives,” said Andrea Davis, HAND’s executive director. “Without a diverse housing inventory, the county risks its ability to expand its workforce, attract young adults looking for a place to settle, and keep seniors in their community of choice.”

At the conference, more than a dozen local leaders in the housing and economic development fields will dig into specific parts of the study. Every participant will leave the day understanding the need for more diverse and attainable housing, as well as actions they can take.

“Housing is one of the keys to the county’s economic well-being,” Davis said.

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.

Report: Limited housing, transportation options could slow county growth

Neighborhoods NOW logo

HAND this week released a 15-page report summarizing key takeaways from its 2016 Neighborhoods NOW Conference.

Distributed to conference registrants and sponsors, the report was made possible by a grant from Old National Bank Foundation.

Fast-growing Hamilton County is expected to add 50,000 jobs by 2025, but employers here already are finding it difficult to fill some positions because potential job candidates can’t afford to live here or maintain reliable transportation.

Attendees discussed the challenges and brainstormed possible solutions during the Nov. 10 conference; their ideas are included in the report.

Read the 2016 conference report.

See the conference speakers’ slides.