Category Archives: Current News

Study: Hamilton County becoming less affordable for more people

Given current funding and construction trends, it will take about 286 years to meet the current demand for income-based housing in Hamilton County.

That’s one of the takeaways in a new report from Indianapolis-based consultant Greenstreet, Ltd. Released at HAND’s Suburban Housing Conference on May 4, the 2022 Housing Study showed that Hamilton County is becoming less affordable to more people.

Stagnant incomes and growing home prices create affordability problems for most income groups, but especially for those households earning less than $98,000 (120 percent of area median income).

To address the issue of decreasing attainability, the study recommended Hamilton County stakeholders work together to reduce the cost of development, remove the social stigma attached to attainable housing, stabilize and support at-risk individuals and families, and increase funding for affordable homes.

The study was commissioned by the Noblesville Housing Authority on behalf of the Hamilton County Housing Collaborative, a coalition of 50-plus individuals representing dozens of organizations working to address the community’s housing needs.

As a group, the Collaborative believes that housing should be attainable for those who want to call Hamilton County home – during every stage of their lives – to uphold the economic well-being of Hamilton County. For that to be possible, the county needs a full continuum of housing products and prices.

This year, the study also included information about four specific strategies that could help improve the outlook for accomplishing that.

Click the highlighted text to read the 2022 Hamilton County Housing Study (and its Data Supplement) and learn more about Community Land Trusts, Housing Trust Funds, Public-Private-Philanthropic Partnerships, and Strategies to Increase & Diversify Housing.

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’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 To learn more about RealAmerica’s services and newest properties, visit or find RealAmerica LLC on Facebook and LinkedIn.