Category Archives: Current News

HAND’s Southwood Villas senior housing taking shape in Tipton

Construction crews have been racing Mother Nature on Southwood Drive in Tipton, where HAND Inc. is building five rental homes for low-income seniors. Work on the two-bedroom, one-bath units began in November and is expected to be complete this spring.

The project has been in the works since 2019, when the Indiana Housing & Community Development Authority awarded HAND $2 million to build nine units on five residential lots just east of the Tipton High School football field. The scope of the project was later reduced after neighbors objected and a judge ruled that the planned duplexes could not straddle plat lines.

Construction on five rental homes for low-income seniors in Tipton started in November.

HAND still plans to spend more than $1.5 million on the development, but the changes delayed construction until this fall.

Fishers-based Meyer Najem is the Construction Manager, working to bring to life the plans laid out by architect Brenner Design and Weihe Engineers, both of Indianapolis.

Residents must be at least 55 years old and earn no more than 60 percent of Tipton County’s area median income: about $30,840 per year for a single tenant or $35,280 for a couple. All HAND tenants are subjected to a rigorous approval process that includes criminal background and credit checks as well as income verification. Tenants must have income.

Rents will range from about $560 to $750 per month, depending on household size and income. The Department of Housing & Urban Development sets rent and income limits each year.

HAND’s property manager Bradley Co. will begin accepting applications from potential residents on Feb. 1, 2022. Applicants can download a Quick Application here and submit it via email or at the leasing office, 901 Basil Lane, Sheridan. Completed applications received on or after Feb. 1 will be processed in the order they are received, and all qualified applicants will be placed on a waiting list.

Applications received prior to Feb. 1 will not be accepted.

If you already are on HAND’s waiting list, please note: You will need to submit another Quick Application expressing interest in Southwood Villas on or after Feb. 1.

HAND wait list reopens Feb. 1

waiting list sign

Members of low-income households interested in renting one of HAND’s affordable apartments can apply to join the waiting list starting Feb. 1, 2022.

The waiting list has been closed to new applicants since 2018, when more than 200 people were waiting for an income-restricted rental home. Fewer than 100 remain on the list, and HAND is in the process of building properties in Tipton and Fishers.

HAND owns a total of 137 rental units in Hamilton and Boone counties. It is adding five units of senior housing in Fishers and 11 units for families in Fishers.

Most of the apartments are income-restricted, meaning residents can’t earn more than 60 percent of area median income. In Hamilton and Boone counties in 2021, that was $34,320 per year for a single tenant, $39,180 for a two-person household, and $48,960 for a family of four.

The U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development also sets maximum rents each year. In Hamilton and Boone, those limits range from $430 per month for an efficiency apartment to about $1,575 for a 5-bedroom unit.

All HAND residents are subject to a rigorous approval process that includes criminal background and credit checks, as well as income verification. All residents must have income.

If you are interested in applying for the waiting list, please download the Quick Application here. and return it on or after Feb. 1, 2022, via email or in person at the HAND leasing office, 901 Basil Lane, Sheridan.

All qualified applicants will be placed on the waiting list(s) of their choice in the order their completed applications were received. Applications submitted before Feb. 1, 2022, will not be considered.

Partner Feature: SouthPointe Village meets need for affordable, accessible housing

How’s this for evidence that Fishers needs more housing the city’s growing workforce can afford? It took RealAmerica Cos. just two weeks to lease up its new 62-unit SouthPointe Village apartment community.

SouthPointe Village’s success is testament to the demand for beautiful, affordable, accessible homes for those who want to live, work, and play in Fishers.

A quarter of the apartments at SouthPointe Village are reserved for residents with disabilities, and the entire property was designed to be accessible. Residents also have access to four on-site service providers that serve the disabled population — a first for Fishers and Indiana.

Fishers was an ideal location for SouthPointe Village because Hamilton Southeastern Schools have excellent programs for individuals with disabilities. But after graduation, they struggle to find affordable housing with services to help them live independently.

“Fishers has great resources, but we don’t have affordable housing for our workforce who support folks with disabilities,” said Kelly Hartman, co-chair of the Fishers Advisory Committee on Disability and founder of Outside the Box. “And we don’t have the opportunity to have folks with disabilities integrated into the community.”

RealAmerica stepped in and partnered with four local service providers to provide on-site services at SouthPointe Village for persons with disabilities. Janus Developmental Services, Outside the Box, Insights, and Opportunities for Positive Growth are working together to help residents with life skills, education, employment training, and independent living. Additionally, Janus has on-site offices on the first floor of SouthPointe to provide easy accessibility for residents and their families.

“We’ve had strong advocacy for folks with disabilities, and we know that housing is a critical shortage for those individuals,” said Fishers Mayor Scott Fadness. “Integrated into SouthPointe will be units that are tailor-made for individuals with disabilities, and this demonstrates a sensitivity to the community and the context for why we’re developing these projects. That in itself is a testament to both RealAmerica’s and the community’s desire to develop something that is accretive to our community.”

At SouthPointe Village, 25 percent of homes were aside for individuals with disabilities, and the entire building is accessible (including raised and lowered garden beds, sidewalks around each community amenity, elevators, automated doors on both ends of the building, and more).

Located at 11245 Lantern Road in Fishers’ thriving Nickel Plate District, SouthPointe is in a prime location for persons with disabilities to be close to employment and their families.

Cecilia Coble, former Fishers City Council President and co-chair of the Fishers Advisory Committee on Disability, said, “A lot of families, like myself, want to be close to their loved one with a disability. And unfortunately, with the lack of affordable housing, it’s hard for loved ones to be close to their parents and grandparents and remain in the community in which they grew up. So, we’re really excited and proud to be a part of this project with RealAmerica.”  

SouthPointe Village is a four-story, 62-unit property, offering residents two different open-concept, 1- and 2-bedroom floor plans. All apartments include full-sized, in-unit washers and dryers, luxury plank flooring, built-in kitchen appliances, a balcony or patio, upgraded soundproof flooring and windows, ceiling fans, energy-efficient features, and free in-unit internet service.

Other featured amenities include a dog park and pet spa, an on-site fitness room, an indoor playground and reading corner, sky deck, community room with a kitchen for entertaining and gathering, community garden, bike share program, craft room, computer resource center, and 529 plan funding for resident children. 

The official grand opening took place on Friday, Oct. 8, and included speeches from the City Council, Executive Director of IHCDA, RealAmerica President and Owner Ronda Shrewsbury, and service providers. The grand opening included a ribbon-cutting ceremony, vendor fair, apartment tours, and an on-site food truck. The event was well-attended by the community, officials, and residents.  

SouthPointe Village would not be possible without RealAmerica’s proven commitment to quality, affordable housing, the support of the City of Fishers, the City Council, Mayor Scott Fadness, the Fishers Advisory Committee on Disability, the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority, and the service providers’ support and partnership. Additional financial partners include Boston Financial and Merchants Capital. 

For more information about SouthPointe Village, visit homeatsouthpointevillage.com. To learn more about RealAmerica’s services and newest properties, visit www.RealAmericaLLC.com or find RealAmerica LLC on Facebook and LinkedIn.

HAND hosts 2 events Nov. 13

On Saturday, November 13, HAND Inc. will host its annual Trivia Night fundraiser along with its signature Stay Home for HAND virtual event, giving supporters options for how to spend their evening.

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Registration is open at https://hand.cbo.io.

Those interested in a night out can join a team trivia competition at the Embassy Suites Conference Center in Noblesville from 7 to 10 p.m.; doors open at 6 p.m. Eight-person teams will complete five rounds of general trivia, with prizes awarded throughout. Tickets include food and soft drinks, and a cash bar will be available.

This year’s Trivia Night fundraiser, which was postponed because of COVID-19, is being held at the same time as Stay Home for HAND, a ticketed “non-event” that debuted in 2017. Stay Home for HAND allows supporters to spend time enjoying the comforts of home — that precious place HAND works to provide.

Presented this year by Citizens State Bank, the events give ticket holders the chance to participate in an online silent auction and buy raffle tickets. Prize drawings will be held at the Trivia Night event, with live videos posted on HAND’s Facebook page.

“The COVID-19 pandemic made it clear how important it is for everyone to have access to safe, stable housing,” said HAND Executive Director Andrea Davis. “HAND is here to help, but we can’t do anything without support from our community.”

Founded in 2003, HAND Inc. is a nonprofit community housing development organization. It owns eight affordable rental communities with a total of 137 units in Hamilton and Boone counties. Another five units are planned for Tipton, and 11 more are planned for Fishers.

Trivia Night yard signs are available upon request: e-mail andee@handincorporated.org.

HAND awarded $2M for planned workforce housing development in Fishers

The Indiana Housing & Community Development Authority’s Board of Directors voted today to award HAND Inc. a $1.5 million grant from its HOME Investment Partnerships program and a $500,000 loan from its Development Fund to support construction of 11 rental cottages in Fishers.

HAND, a nonprofit community housing development organization based in Noblesville, plans to invest more than $3 million to build Cumberland Cottages. Hamilton County previously allocated $200,000 in Community Development Block Grant funding to HAND for property acquisition.

HAND will continue to seek additional funding for the project, which will also utilize a loan from Citizens State Bank.

Cumberland Cottages is planned for almost 2 acres of mostly vacant land at the southwest corner of Cumberland Road and 141st Street in Fishers. Earlier this year, the Fishers City Council agreed to rezone the property to allow for the development.

Plans call for building four two-bedroom units and seven three-bedroom units in what’s known as a cottage court layout, clustered around shared green space. Six of the 11 cottages will be reserved for residents who earn no more than 60 percent of area median income.

This will be HAND’s first rental property in Fishers. It 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. Construction of a ninth, in Tipton, is expected to start this fall.

“We know that residents throughout Hamilton County need a wide range of housing options—including some affordable ones—and HAND is thrilled to be able to help,” said Executive Director Andrea Davis.

As part of its application for HOME funding, HAND signed service agreements with more than a dozen local nonprofits that may be able to assist residents of Cumberland Cottages. Tenants will receive information about community partners’ services at move-in.

Construction is expected to begin early next year, following the completion of a federal environmental review and the city of Fishers’ approval of the final development plan.

HAND has enlisted the help of several local firms to develop Cumberland Cottages. Project partners include David Rausch Studio, Jung Design, Context Design, Weihe Engineers, and Meyer Najem Construction.